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FROM THE LIBRARY OF
REV. LOUIS FITZGERALD BENSON. D. D,
BEQUEATHED BY HIM TO
THE LIBRARY OF
PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2012 with funding from
Princeton Theological Seminary Library
> MAR ?6 1(V H A
election from the llocms
["F." and "F. F."]
.4 j kmtr so $mall
That eljin foot might crush its fragrant life,
Shall in the magic of a poet's breath
Sway the dulled heart, and quicken with the dream
That born and mingling with the forest bree~e
Hid with cold starlight in the wild-fiower's cup —
Till poet's icand evoked it back to life. — F.
PUBLISHED FOR PRIVATE DISTRIBUTION.
Not where I would, but where I may I choose,
For things that Gratitude can never make !
These better things my heart cantiot refuse,
I treasure deeply for pure Friendship's sake.
THOSE WHO KNEW AND LOVED HER,
AS A REMEMBRANCE OF THE WRITER,
What sJiall I say? in my heart words are springing
Transcending all speech, and as deep as the sea ;
All that is best in vie breathes in my singing,
Binding forever your spirits to me. — F.
Be not an ingrate in the Realm of Thought,
Which girdles all below, —
With daily wonders in thy pathway wrought,
Wilt thou such claim forego?
For thee, O Heart, that distant sunlight falls,
By Heaven's impartial grace ;
For thee lie crumbled all the granite walls
That hide fair Nature' s face .
Sighs unto sorrow, echoes for the hills,
But deeper thoughts and free
Be thine, O Heart — their singing else fit If Is
No ministry to thee. — F.
^PO those who were well acquainted with the author of this
volume, but little that is new to them can now be told —
for mere poor words of eulogy seem but dimly to portray the
innate goodness, that sincerity and graceful tenderness of
character that combined to form the crown of a noble life of
true womanliness. How warmly her friends were loved ; how
cordial were her sympathies ; how ardently she felt for the
cause of the weak and the oppressed, let her life as well as
her words — faint echoes of it — speak.
Fanny Fagan was from early girlhood a constant and ear-
nest student, her reading covering a wide range in English
Literature. But more especially did she delight in studying
and analyzing works treating upon Theology, Philosophy, and
the Sciences — a pleasurable task in which her father gave his
loving guidance. Only, however, to those, who with sympa-
thetic magnetism could draw aside the curtain of her quiet
reserve, were unfolded the marked depth of thought, and the
varied extent of her information. Through all her religious
views ran that liberality of feeling, and the broad toleration
" which comes with knowledge."
VI BIOGRAPHIC SKETCH.
When the Civil war burst upon the country, and thousands
of loyal hearts rushed to defend the Nation's life, not one
among them felt more overpoweringly the great issues at stake
than did the subject of this brief memoir: as, with so many
other American families, her kindred in the old Revolutionary
days had done their utmost with open hand and strong arm
to succor and defend the cause of Independence — and had
cheerfully borne losses of property and personal liberty as
a resulting consequence.
Memories of those olden times of battle, suffering, and pri-
vation she had often heard related in the home circle — and
her heart thrilled responsive to those recollections of the
past, when the guns fired on Fort Sumter began the second
war for Liberty. "Ah!" she said feelingly, her eyes filling
with tears, " if I could only march with those gallant men
who are pressing forward to defend my dear country."
In her own earnest words —
A woman, loving Freedom well,
I only have the power of song :
Nor wealth nor strength to aid the Right
That makes a struggling Nation free !
The Spirit spoke : " If on thy sight
Shines clear the light of Liberty,
'Thrice blest, while thousands sink with doubt,
What means this sudden, strange distrust ?
Canst fear to speak the message out,
Sent straight from Heaven, to kindred dust?'
D IOG RAPHIC SKETCH. Vll
As the war went on, and the tide of alternate victory and
defeat ebbed and flowed, her mind seemed a barometer of
the Nation's hopes and fears, but firm with an unfaltering
trust in the ultimate triumph of the Union arms. When, final-
ly, Victory came, and with it Freedom was achieved, there was
a woman's heart that felt "joy unutterable " with an intensity
that only, such a nature can feel.
The poetry of the writer has been published anonymously,
or under one or both of her initials [" F." and " F. F."].
Two small volumes of poems " Something new for my Little
Friends" and "Hymns for the Sunday-School," were so is-
sued, but space in the present memorial volume will only
allow that portion of her writings to be published which is
now gathered together for the first time in book form.
The author's fugitive pieces have been extensively copied
throughout the country, many finding their way into music
books and other works, while frequently the hymns have found
quiet resting-places in the English and American Hymnals
of the various denominations.
For two or three years preceding Fanny Fagan's death, her
strength had gradually failed, and she perceiving it, had antic-
ipated death might come to her by the slow approaches of
consumption. Not that death was feared ; no duty was neg-
lected, no study interrupted, but in her writings there may be
perceived that pathos which thoughts of our nearness to the
Great Hereafter will often inspire.
Early in January 1878, and on the eve of her last sickness,
she wrote under the head of " Sanctification," and sent for
Vlll D IOGRAPH/C SKETCH.
publication, in the columns of " The Christian Register " of
Boston, the following lines — the last her hand ever traced —
and then the dear mind was lost in the delirium of sickness,
so soon followed by her sudden death on the early morning
of January 30th. The words seem to ring with that ecstatic
buoyancy so often a prelude to the fatal attacks of disease.
I cannot look upon His Face and live,
Yet the dear Lord I see ;
In thought, too deep for m<5rtal words to speak,
He dwelleth here in me.
I cannot look upon His Face and live,
So faint I grow and weak :
Yet by His life I live, and comfort draw,
Nor other help I seek.
The words I freely speak are mine no more ;
His presence thrills in me :
Old things have passed away ; I needs must soar
And sing in Liberty !
THOUGHTS ANT) FEELINGS.
To John G. Whittier 1 5
Blessing the Crusaders *°
Life's Records 2 3
A Face 24
Charlotte Bronte 25
The Spirit of Beauty %7
Memories 3 2
Sympathy ' 33
Mary, a Sister of Charity 34
The Coral Reef 36
Thoughts of the Night 37
To a Cracked Mirror 39
Marshall's Falls 4 1
The Day-King 42
To Nature 47
Dreamland 5 2
Love's First Quarrel . 59
At Laurel Hill 6 1
Written on Christmas Day 64
True Fairies 65
"Words are Idle" 09
A Thought Versified 7 2
Love's Equality 74
On the Death of an Infant 7"
The Haunted House 7"
In Memory of Charles Sumner 80
"POEMS OF THE WAR.
The Summons 83
A Voice to the Nation 85
Knight of Truth and Liberty 89
The Alarm-Bell 9 1
In Memory of the Dead of the Second Louisiana Regiment ... 94
"Let there be Light" 95
Angels of Mercy 99
The Land of the Free 103
Our Patriot Dead 105
Freedom's Martyr IOo
Our Soldiers and Sailors 108
SONGS OF FREEDOM.
"Break every Yoke" 121
Right 1 23
Riches • I2 5
The Nation's Manhood 1 26
Freedom I2 o
Freedom's Voice '3°
Free Men at Last *33
COX TEATS. XI
(POEMS OF THE SPIRIT.
My Spirit-Mother 1 37
Father 1 39
A Wish I4 1
Apostleship I4 2
The Higher Law 143
My Heritage 150
The Love of God 151
"And He that Seeth Me Seeth Him that Sent Me" 154
The Widow's Mite 1 55
Near to Us 1 57
E very-day Character 1 58
Anchorage 1 59
New Forces 160
My Thought l6l
Compensation 1 62
The Flowers of Hope and Trust 1 63
The Inner Key 1 64
"The Grace of God" 1 66
The Invisibles Render us Happier 1 69
" Ring in the Christ that is to be" l"J2
Human Trust 1 74
Spirit 1 76
"God is Love" 1 77
By the Hudson 1 78
"Passed in Beauty" 1 79
Spirit Work 181
Ideals • 1 82
Unanswered 1 83
" All is Vanity" 1 85
Slowly 1 86
Immortality 1 88
"Lamp of the Sanctuary" 189
Stars 1 89
Light Ahead !9°
Hereafter I9 1
God the Uncreated *9 2
Love Evermore 193
The Grand, Eternal Now. *94
"The Real Presence" 195
Our Souls J 99
The Hidden Truth 200
At Sunset 201
To Lita 202
The Unseen World 2 °3
Divine Uses 2 °4
After Rain 204
Jesus 2 °5
True Thought and Deed 2 °7
Spiritual Life 20o
Be Strong, O Soul ! 209
My Faith 211
To God the Father • 215
Hymn of the Children 217
Friends Left Behind 219
Life Invisible 220
To a Spirit 221
The Wishing Gate 223
THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS.
As a fair, frail dreain of beauty
Rises softly over sleep,
Shimmering silent through the darkness,
Where sad eyes their watching keep,
Bear big hope to hearts that, wasted,
Could not feel the warmth of day,
Touching waiting springs of being,
Vibrant to a seraph's lay.
So Thought and Feeling, 'neath the covering
Of an earth-grown life long veiled,
Shall escape to air and beauty,
By angelic watchers hailed. — F.
The Poet's life is twofold — all the rare
And beautiful, with lowly things he claitus,
And to the ceaseless music in his soul
He sets their meaning — making more intense
True spiritual power ; — then wrapt in genius' folds,
In a deep niche, where all the world may gaze,
He shrines them high and holy evermore. — F.
To John G. Whittier.
ON READING THE PROEM TO HIS POEMS.
1LOVE the old, melodious lays,"
By dreamy, careless poets sung,
Imaginings of blissful days,
When Hope was fresh, and Fancy young;
A subtile sense of Beauty steals
Thro' dusky years that roll between,
No weary soul its care reveals,
To mar the fresh and fairy scene,
Where, floating on some sheltered lake,
No cloud o'er its unruffled blue,
The very echoes served to make
A fainter music stealing through.
16 TO JOHN G. WHITTIER.
Ah ! Poets of some fairer clime,
Who hid the world's grief under flowers,
And flung your gauntlet down to Time,
And claimed these distant hearts of ours —
We feel your grace, the soothing charm
Distilled amid the woodlands fair,
And, wrapt in some poetic calm,
We own you blest — we name you rare.
Enwrapt in beauty evermore,
Fair children of a golden age,
When Faith is tried, when hearts are sore,
We wond'ring sigh — and shut the page.
Then, kindling to a sudden heat,
These hearts, that seemed so weak, so cold,
Uplifting to our stronger feet,
Speaks one true Poet, calm and bold ;
No soothing flatt'rer, bending low
Before the rulers of our land —
His soul is clean — God made it so,
His messages to understand.
TO JOHN G. WHIT TIER. 1"/
No blazonry of courts nor kings
Bring laurels gemmed with morning's dew ;
The glory hid in common things,
In common joys, his spirit knew.
He speaks — grass grows where, scathed and bare,
Lay buried some unspoken grief;
The skies consoling aspects wear,
And Love and Duty drop relief.
He speaks — the lone Pariah turns,
To meet a brother's pitying gaze —
In holy wrath the wrong he burns,
And points to Nature's tender ways.
His Harp, set low to human needs,
The Highest swept its vibrant wires;
.The clangor of men's iron creeds
Beneath its benison expires.
Yes ! Prophet of that rugged shore,
Thick-strowed with blossoms unto Heaven,
A constant friend forevermore,
To thee our reverent love be given !
Blessing the Crusaders.
THOUGHTS SUGGESTED BY THE PICTURE OF " PETER, THE
HERMIT, BLESSING THE CRUSADERS."
OH, mirage phantom of the past,
That crazed the eager sight,
Then faded in a desert vast,
Amid the gloom of night —
What madness lured the passionate crowd
To waste their thoughts on thee?
Thou Demon-tempter, whisp'ring loud
Of things which could not be?
'Neath banners hands unclasped fronj prayer,
So vainly strove to bless,
Swords clashing on the dreamy air,
Fraught with God's tenderness ;
With souls, that by still fiercer crime,
Hoped sanguine for release,
They rushed — in mock'ry of that time —
To serve the Prince of Peace !
BLESSING THE CRUSADERS. IQ
The shadow of their armor cold
Cast blight upon the flowers,
And chilled the germ of thoughts that fold
A nobler life than ours !
The radiant virtues, never sought
When passions wild have play,
Neglected, jewels all un wrought,
Tho' 'round their feet they lay;
And for the humble Cross a shrine,
Where countless idols poured
Bright visions from a wealth-heaped mine,
When votaries adored.
The green and mystic veil that spread
This hoary earth with grace,
Thro' life-blood of uncounted dead,
Wore a deep, guilty trace !
Oh scattered Army of the Good,
That wage a noiseless strife,
Ye great and silent multitude,
That guard the paths of Life ;
20 BLESSING THE CRUSADERS.
Unarmed — save by the simple shield
Of Trust, that all inwrought
With power — when steel would lose the field,
Victorious light hath caught.
If still ye lead in princely dress,
Or toil in lowly cot,
Beloved, or in a lone distress,
Press on, and falter not !
If Earth hath, in some generous mood,
Named loud her champions bold,
Or dying, look in solitude,
A holier blessing told;
If trophies of a victory won
O'er selfish pride are gained ;
If, at the setting of the sun,
No bitter scorn hath stained ;
With spirits stronger than before,
Press towards the heavenly goal,
Where Peace shall reign forevermore,
And Glory crown the whole !
OH, waves of Time! that in your darkening flow
Swept o'er proud temples, built against the skies,
Strewed with white memories of th' undying dead —
Roll back, and let your buried cities rise !
In vain the cry! but sudden, strangely traced
On the heart's canvas, by an unseen hand,
The pictures of those scenes so long effaced,
Transport the dreamer to a distant land !
As, looking from a hill, I see the towers
Of proud Jerusalem, and thro' the streets
Life with its pageants and mysterious powers,
The ceaseless miracle again repeats.
And as a sad prophetic glory falls
Thro' the deep clouds of sunset, o'er its pride,
Melting to dreamland all within those walls,
Where the clear voice of Truth was so denied —
Yon hoary Mount seems quickened by the foot
Of Him who wept above the City's fate,
Those passionate, burning tears, that, dropping mute,
Hallowed the ground where His Disciples sate.
Tears for the City that from its own heart
Bore seeds of ruin to the spoilers' hand —
For priceless jewels buried 'heath the mart,
Or poured on idols of that fated land.
Tears for the living death, whose lurid fire,
Fed by its victims, cast a mocking glare,
And shadows deep and strong — an unseen pyre,
Blighting the outward glory gathered there.
If from the myriad urns that mark Time's shore,
The buried sorrows that for centuries slept
Should quicken into life to thrill once more,
'T would shrink before the pathos — Jesus wept !
IN a niche of Time's gray castle,
Carved out with wondrous skill,
Stands a statue, on it written
Records of thy life-long will.
Trifles seeming, yet they gather,
Silent, almost numberless,
Till they mark each spotless folding
Of the statue's mystic dress.
Records of the thoughts that slumbered
Quietly within thy breast,
Deeds evoked in living tracery,
Carved out fairly with the rest.
With each word of heartfelt pity
For another's cruel fate,
Every longing aspiration
To be true and nobly great.
If the poor thou hast befriended,
Or with brotherhood's right hand
Led the erring to the pathway
Tending to a purer land,
24 LIFE'S RECORDS.
Though around thy humble forehead
Glory's light hath never shone,
Though thy spirit's light seems wav'ring,
With new courage press thou on.
Angel hands have traced the record
Of thy simple word and deed,
Angel faces bending o'er thee,
Brighten as they onward read !
1LOOK, with a curious sense of loss,
To my outward eye, on a certain face,
For under its beauty surged up the dross,
And the rough waves told on its light and grace.
Malice and Hate, like two slumbering snakes,
Lurked out from their covert. The beauty's done;
A thing of the past ! The True Soul makes
Best radiance for me, and the highest one.
DEAD, and the crowd that flattered and caressed her,
With glance as bright on newer idols turned,
Voices unchanged, nor tears, nor mourning vesture,
Tread the same places where her genius burned.
But eyes that only viewed through earnest story,
Unnumbered hearts that felt the stirring power,
Through tears that turned to render light her glory,
Mourn for The Gifted ! Brief the triumph hour !
No costly monument is raised above her,
With flatt'ring record of a thrilling name —
Her childhood's grass grows there, but cannot cover
The living spirit of her woman's fame!
No dreamy light thro' old Italian palace
Revealed soft pictures to her earnest gaze —
The Real — a bitter drop within the chalice,
And the mind's magic — then her changeless bays !
26 CHARLOTTE BRONTE.
Like a rare plant, 'neath Heaven's mysterious keeping.
Amid the stunted trees of moorlands gray,
While Nature on her dreary watch was sleeping,
The flowers, unlooked for, blossomed into Day !
May the low chime that sounds to spirit-hearing,
Ring softly in a requiem for her soul,
That lived and listened, when, the mystery clearing,
Revealed her portion in The Wondrous Whole.
On the bleak winds that swept around her dwelling,
The inspiration like a spirit came,
And, while her heart with dull unrest was swelling,
Fused its rich metal in a living flame.
And her life's genius, waking from his slumbers,
Dropped stars of thought around her lowly feet,
Whisp'ring, " All life is cast in mystic numbers,
Speak thy soul's prompting, make thy work complete ! "
With strong, unquestioning faith, the spell upon her,
She launched her vessel on the world's broad sea,
Rich with strange treasures, and the pilot, Honor,
Mooring it bravely where great ships should be !
The Spirit of Beauty.
OH, scheming man, thro' blinding folds
Of selfishness and care,
Canst see the wonders Nature holds
Within her hands so fair?
In vain, upon some mountain height,
With misty fields below,
And sudden breaks of golden light
That shimmer to and fro —
In vain thou stand' st — the soulless gaze
Sees not the magic thrown,
Feels not the glory of those rays
So foreign to its own.
Not in the mystic depths above,
Nor on the changing sea,
Dwelleth the spirit of thy love,
Oh, Seeker, wed to thee ;
But in thine inmost heart — a power
Transforming Earth to Heaven,
28 THE S P I R IT O F B E A U T Y.
The poet thought, that bounteous dower
To earnest natures given.
There, in unspotted robes of peace,
A simple, wond'rous power,
When vainer thoughts the soul release,
She holds her charmed hour.
Oh, narrow heart, that holds the blighting creed,
"That God is just, and human nature vile ! "
Ignoring in thy thought the vital seed,
Untouched by kindly sunshine all the while.
What, though the garments consecrate to faith
Sweep in humility the altar stair,
And lowly prayers the meek believer saith
Rise with thy mockery on the perfumed air !
Oh, wear, in mem'ry of thy own deep need,
The charm of Faith, that will not be o'erthrown,
And lo ! the beautiful in thought and deed,
Evoked by good, shall spring to meet thine own !
IF, thro' the beauty of the starry skies,
I fondly deem
My soul grows purer 'neath a spirit's eyes,
Still let me dream.
If from the whirl of outer life I turn,
Where deep and strange
The secrets of a grander realm may burn,
I would not change !
Enfolded 'neath the mist of dreaming eyes,
May visions rest,
Dropped by an angel flitting thro' the skies
With tokens blest.
If, through the sunlit arches of the wood,
A deeper theme
Than loftiest church may teach awakes to good,
I still would dream !
Still to that peopled solitude, where dreams
Are links to heaven —
Where Thought flies towards all Truth that brightly
My heart is given.
The wond'rous meaning folded 'neath the flowers
I dimly guess,
And the veiled beauty of the twilight hours
That strangely bless.
I clasp the chalice, to whose brim may rise
A waiting gem,
That, viewed by weary, unexpectant eyes,
Is lost to them !
I dream of Heaven, whose glories never pale;
A deeper glow
Than flits athwart dark clouds, that quiv'ring sail,
Those skies shall know.
In the bright shadow, cast by lovelier things
Than Earth may see,
The soul, reflecting all the joy it sings,
Awakes in me.
Still may I dream, while varying years shall flow
As waves, which swell
O'er hidden memories, that sweet and low
Their meaning tell.
Still, thro' the fields, untenanted and green,
Unchanged and free,
My soul would range, with bars of light between
Far realms and me.
Within that ancient, hallowed, hermit cell,
The Cave of Thought,
Whose ling'ring echoes to the seeker tell
What Faith once wrought ;
Where the gray moss, entwined with blooming flowers,
Bent knees have pressed,
All Nature thrilling to the sun and showers,
I still would rest.
Far in my dreaming from the restless throng,
That wakes to pain,
On th' exultant wings of hope and song
I rise again.
Yon grand, o'ershadowing dome I cannot reach —
Above my fate ;
With thoughts that may not pass the gates of speech,
I patient wait j
Till, from a darkened room, that may not veil
The rising day,
This spirit, parting from a sleeper pale,
Shall wing its way !
OLD Time once reared on high a stately palace,
Glittering with rarest spoils of land and sea;
He raised in triumph high his star-gemmed chalice —
"The pride of Earth in bondage bends to me."
But there are thoughts that play like living moonbeams
Across the unchecked tide of memory ;
And there are echoes which the loving heart dreams
Are waked by spirits in Infinity.
Time has ?w power to crush a kindly feeling —
Once wakened into life it cannot die;
The Future beckons ihee, bright joys revealing,
That misty float between the earth and sky.
WHO shall go down to the secret Springs.
Sweet or bitter, this strange life holds;
Who score the silent, intangible things,
Blessing or bane, that our spirit folds !
Folds away from invading eyes,
Covered, we think, till the Judgment day.
Straight through the secrecy, past surprise,
Reading, a stranger, long on the way,
Meets and greets — Lo, the vail is gone ;
Whose quick hand raised it we do not know.
Or was it an insight, strangely born
For the time and need? let us call it so.
Who shall go down? We may travel far,
The world may listen, give plaudits, the end
Has come, when we simply are,
Heart to heart, in the love of a friend.
Mary, 1 a Sister of Charity.
STILL let the organ peal
Solemn death wail,
Unnoted in lustre,
A star hath grown pale.
Let the sad music float
Through the dim aisle,
Where, round old tracery,
Hovers morn's smile.
Tread round the bier,
O'er the sad garb of Death
Drop ye a tear.
Though the wild wreath of Fame
Ne'er pressed that brow,
Though the loud trumpet's note
Pealed not her vow;
1 Mary Fagan, the author's aunt, a Sister of Charity, who died
at New Orleans, 183S, while tending the sick and dying, during the
yellow fever pestilence.
MARY, A SISTER OF CHARITY. 35
When men in strength and power
Shook and turned pale,
When thro 1 * the darkened rooms
Came the low wail —
With face so calm and true
Stood she alone,
When from the suff'rer's bed
Gay friends had flown.
Patience and Charity
Dwelt in her heart —
She that in worldly pride
Ne'er bore a part.
Bright with the radiance
Of faith in Heaven,
Whisp'ring forgiving words
To the sin-riven.
Still on her parted lips
Hovers a smile,
And a low requiem
Floats round the while.
Crowned with the waiting crown
In realms above,
Her voice joins the holy song —
"God is all Love! "
The Coral Reef.
\T7AS it the strange creation of a day,
*■' Aided by magic power, that rose on high,
Parting the crested waves that dashed around ?
Behold the architects, whose patient toil
Hath wrought this mighty fabric on the sea,
And gaze with wonder on the curious race
That, from the viewless depths of Ocean, reared,
In silent strength, a lasting monument,
That speaks in voiceless eloquence to Man !
Yes ! unto Man, who views with scornful pride
Nature's untiring servants die around,
And through their envious works hears not the sound,
Urging a warning lesson in his ear.
To him who to the clouds already sees
The lofty spire of his ambition rise,
How toilsome seems the laying stone on stone,
The patient, gradual work of industry !
Thoughts of the Night.
THE world's asleep ; pray heaven their thoughts are pure
Who vigils keep;
Storms rising when the slumb'rers rest secure
Awake the deep !
The streets, that echoed to a restless throng,
Are silent, bare ;
All hushed the sounds of wrath, and life, and song,
That stirred the air.
Above, the stars shine in unchanging light ;
Ah, young and fair,
Their beauty deepens on the solemn night
In silence rare ;
Touching the realm of this strange, inner life
With luminous thought,
That soars untrammelled o'er the care and strife
By daylight wrought.
Oh, jarring creeds and doubting hearts, the life
Ye vainly seek
Dwells not where noonday's garish blaze is rife,
And faith so weak ;
38 THOUGHTS OF THE NIGHT.
Earth's grandest altar-fires seem poor and cold,
In the full glow j
Free spirits for a deeper life enrolled,
E'en here may know !
Oh, Ruling Spirit of the Night, no need
Of vow or shrine
To consecrate to thee, in thought and deed,
This soul of mine !
Exultant over time and space, that may not bind
A spirit free,
The viewless portals for whose light I pined
Unclose for me ;
And this vague, outer life, whose shadows steal
O'er things most fair,
Floats a bright curtain, whose strange folds reveal
Joys full and rare.
Thou, unto whom my inmost dreams lie bare,
Nor stain, nor sin
Hath power to hold from me this living air,
My soul breathes in ;
Weak, yet immortal, shall I fear the power
That hath given mine ?
True thoughts, unuttered prayers born of this hour,
Are Thine, all Thine !
To a Cracked Mirror.
THOU coldly glitt'ring thing, whose surface clear,
Made each reflection with a look sincere,
I view awhile thy much neglected state,
And draw a moral ere it be too late.
Not always didst thou stand forsaken here,
Save when some lively youth of scarce a year,
The chubby darling in his nurse's arms,
Gives thee a blow, or wond'ring views his charms.
Once, when gay notes or gliding measure fell,
Where Love breathed welcome or grief sighed farewell,
Thou philosophical didst keep thy place,
Doing strict justice to each form and face.
Tripping with lightest step the marble floor,
A fair girl stops to read thy proffered lore,
Then turns, with quickened heart, the form to see
Of him she loves reflected true in thee.
40 TO A CRACKED MIRROR.
Or Envy, with a wav'ring, doubtful smile,
Pauses beside thee, musing slow the while ;
Anon, with stately step, the Beauty proud
Passes with her admiring, flatt'ring crowd.
With mincing foot and mirth-provoking air
The Coxcomb pauses ; for his beauties rare
Demand a stolen glance, Old Sage, at thee,
To judge if both of you in thought agree.
There stalks the Cynic, casting sneers on all
Who 'neath his crooked standard chance to fall
In egotistic pride he walks apart,
Save when a theme presents to point his dart.
The antiquated Beau, in gay attire,
Seeming of nourishes he 'd never tire,
With soft, persuasive manner passes by,
With kind complacence viewing fair forms nigh.
My hurried vision 's fled — alone with thee,
Wlio hast survived the young, the old, the free,
I stand, awaking from my varied dream
Of changes thou and I, old friend, have seen.
LET the gay laugh upon thy lip be hushed,
And with one thought, detached from the gay world,
Come thou where Nature sits enthron'd Queen.
'Tis a wild spot, where the dark, aged trees
Hold gloomy state 'gainst the encroaching Plough —
Where gray moss gathers 'round the shapeless rocks,
Wreathing itself in strange, fantastic shape;
The voice of rushing water meets the ear,
And, hurrying downward 'twixt those parted rocks,
By Nature severed in her secret hour,
Falls the dark torrent to its rocky base. —
See, where the crumbling stone hath yielded place
To the rude waterfall. Tradition saith,
Ere strange, invading feet had tracked the soil,
The dark-browed Indian hunter fearless crept
Ad own yon slipp'ry ladder, at the hour
When his lips, longing for the cooling draught,
That plashed and rippled 'neath his venturous foot,
He came to taste the pure, refreshing draught. —
No more his arrowy death-shaft cleaves its way
Unto the wild deer's heart — a vague, wild strain,
That, strange and half-remembered, haunts the soul —
The Indian's mem'ry only lingers now!
THE purple range of Heaven is lit —
A King hath risen to-day,
With glitt'ring armor, powerful lance,
To sweep all foes away.
Cold, dim-eyed Twilight, suppliant pale,
Clings round his folds of state,
Then shrinks mysteriously away,
As sighing — "Late! too late!"
From out yon castle's gloomy shade,
A visionary train,
Betrayed by swords with arrowy flash,
Anon shall sweep the plain ;
And gorgeous banners — viewless hands
Have flung in triumph free —
Are floating in transparent folds,
Far as the glance may see.
THE DA Y-KING. 43
Fantastic, wond'rous as the dreams
That mock the sleeping brain,
Those standards of aerial fields
Illumine Earth again ;
Their waving splendor sheds a glow,
Tinging with roseate hue,
The sombre mist that veils the land
And ocean's quiv'ring blue.
And gray, old forests, young perchance
A hundred years ago,
Sigh mournfully, yet lift their heads
To feel the fresh 'ning glow ;
Through trembling branches, silently
The mellowed glories fall,
Where fresh young flowers entwine in sleep
Round Nature's ruins tall.
As spirit-echoes, suddenly
Transmuted into form,
The hills stand forth in melody,
With Nature's instinct warm ;
And greenly beautiful their crests '
Are luminous with gold,
As once the hills of Fairy-land
Were crowned with wealth untold.
44 THE DAY-KING.
Deep valleys, sleeping passionless,
Are brimmed with happy dreams,
And waken to their silent watch
Where yon enchantment gleams.
The phantoms of the night have waved
Their shadowy arms in vain,
And mourn in deep, unfathomed caves,
The Day-King's coming reign.
And rugged piles, that, cold and dank,
Stood scowling on the shore,
Colossal ghosts of drowned men,
Resolve to rocks once more.
With memories and mysteries,
In voiceless caverns deep,
The recognizing Sea hath caught.
The glory in his leap ;
And longing eyes, from stately ships,
Have hailed the blessed light,
That softly gilds beloved homes,
Revealed once more to sight.
Behind the bars that hide thy face,
Oh, grand, mysterious Sun,
A conqueror, with triumphant glance,
Looks down on vict'ries won.
THE DAY-KING. 45
To sleepless eyes, that weary turn
While stars so coldly shine,
No turrets by magician wrought ■
Blaze with the lights of thine.
O'er slumb'ring cities, where the eaves
Are dim thro' rising mist,
A radiant herald from thy throne
The vapor-cloud hath kissed;
And Silence, where the busy hum
At eventide swept loud,
Is reigning, transitory queen,
O'er the unconscious crowd ;
While Labor, from his dreamless bed,
Glides through deserted streets,
With wrinkles on his forehead cut,
And strong and deep heart-beats.
Like deep'ning rifts of poetry,
That part all clouds in twain,
Revealing to the inner sense
Lost Paradise again,
The gleaming radiance comes and goes,
Touching with liberal grace
The palace-dome and lowly roof,
Each glad and dreary place.
46 THE DAY-KING.
True veins of life, that gently pulse
Beyond great cities' heat,
The fresh' ning lanes are cool with dew,
And many a mossy seat.
A mystic glory, dreaming heart
Hath felt, but never told,
Turns lowly hedge to fairies' dais,
And cottage thatch to gold.
Ah, mortal eyes, ye may not bear
The splendors newly born,
The King hath crowned, with tender joy,
His promised bride — The Morn!
Oh, little things, that make us grave or glad,
The common things of this my every day,
Be blest to me, since, whether bright or sad,
Your impress tells, and will not pass away.
DEAR Nature to thy waiting heart
Spreads wide her strange, unbounded wealth.
Responsive to its call: "Apart
From man and Mammon share my health —
The health that freshens in the air,
And thrills each crystalled blade of grass,
That flowers in vale, on hill-top bare,
Where human foot may rarely pass.
Come, child ! to whom my spirit yearns,
As mother towards her latest-born,
For thee my greenwood light returns,
Reject it not in blinded scorn ! "
The silent mists, that come and go
Like dreams in Thought's mysterious range,
Float onward to the anthem low :
"Exult! all Life is wondrous change! "
They break, and thro' the curtains dim,
A glad, bewild'ring landscape smiles,
A halo round yon mountain's rim,
Rayed out from far, aerial aisles ;
48 TO NA TUR E.
And fragrant hills their censers swing,
Upon the soft, expectant breeze —
Perchance there floats a seraph's wing,
O'er silent altars, fresh as these !
Yon waving shimmer, where the gold
Is breaking thro' the parted sheaf,
The beauty-loving eyes behold
Writ on the woodland's dreamy leaf;
The whisp' rings caught by forest trees,
From Heaven's overhanging blue —
The miracles of God are these,
To thrill His worshippers anew ;
And echoing voices of the hills,
As from a shad'wy, unseen height,
Seem mingling with the lowly rills,
Whose music makes Earth bright.
To thee, oh, Poet ! when the life
That thrills thee now is cold or weak,"
Like happier gleams thro' scenes of strife,
Such summer days may speak !
Within, th' immortal life which claims
This outer beauty all may share ;
Around, a deep'ning light that shames
The tears which fell with olden prayer.
Blue mountains, strown with golden dust,
From royal Daylight's parting feet,
Primeval types of steadfast trust,
Uprise a grander King to greet.
And that dear God, whose tender care
O'er arches, wood, and city dim,
Breathes thro' the scene, so wond'rous fair,
To draw thy spirit unto Him !
Ephrata, July 22, 1 86 1.
OH, music, what mysterious power
Breathes thro' thy faintest chord,
That in hushed, list'ning heart the tide
Of tenderness is poured?
Perchance thou art an echo lent
From purer realms on high,
To thrill each longing spirit with
Adown the inner arches deep
Thy murm'ring voices break,
Dark souls, that long quaft Lethe's wave,
Thy living summons wake ;
As though the lost intelligence
Claimed kindred part with thee.
And tarried in its fearful flight,
Impelled by sympathy.
Who hath not felt his spirit borne
In thoughts half joy, half pain,
To halcyon days of long ago,
In list'ning to thy strain ?
For soul vibrateth evermore
To memories of the past,
And o'er them, as a soothing spell,
Thy dreaminess is cast.
It almost seemeth we can hear
The wings of lost beloved,
Rustling unto thy hallowed strains
In harmony above.
Like that all-gorgeous eastern bird,
Whose wing earth ne'er profaned,
Thou hoverest o'er the stormy world
In beauty bright, unstained.
Thou speak' st in tones of fervent love —
Oh, when could uttered word
Unseal such founts of tenderness,
As at thy call are stirred !
How oft, in stirring clangor, thou
Dost rouse the soul to might,
When speaking in thy thunder-tones,
For God, for Man, and Right !
And, when the sombre robes of Grief
Press heavy 'gainst the heart,
We bow around the loved one's bier,
A ministrant thou art ;
Pouring, in solemn, requiem tones,
Farewells our grief denied,
And stealing, as a holy calm,
O'er those who weep beside.
Well have the gifted ones of earth,
Who swept thy living lyre,
Deemed that angelic converse then
Had lit its sacred fire ;
For earth-born feelings, fading, shrink
To deepest nothingness,
When thou dost float, in triumph notes,
To conquer and to bless !
ON the shore of realms ideal,
Power unseen hath reared for me
Spirit-halls, which, though unreal,
Still my chosen home must be.
There are dreamy, plashing fountains,
Keeping heart and mem'ry green,
Rosy tints from grand old mountains,
Faintly flush and fade between.
At a magic casement standing,
Floats a scene of Summer still,
Though the snow enchanters, banding,
Cover every outer hill ;
And a music never ling'ring,
When the soul wears old and gray,
As of harp 'neath angel ring' ring,
Softly steals, then dies away !
Pictures, rare and ever-changing,
Hang upon those magic walls,
Where a soft'ning twilight, ranging,
Like a spirit slowly falls.
Pictures that the poorest lover,
May enchanted claim his own,
When all hopes of wealth are over,
All his trusted idols flown ;
For guests, all true and beautiful,
That cross the daily way,
A keyless warder, dutiful,
Entreateth them to stay.
Evil things — forever sighing,
O'er a heaven-darkened fate —
May not cross the threshold, sighing
For the good they idly wait.
But with joyous, wild outpouring,
On the quiet air there rise
Birds of promise, swiftly soaring,
Lost in happy, cloudless skies.
If, on her mysterious mission,
Sorrow chanceth at the gate,
And the light of fields elysian,
Seemeth shadowed by a fate,
With reverence never rendered
To a weak and carping care,
To the dowerless queen be tendered,
All the treasure gathered there !
Dost thou say my spirit-mansion,
In far realms of dreamland raised,
Seems a sickly, vague expansion,
When Earth's palaces are praised?
Better dreams than eager grasping
At the mocking fruit that burns
Hearts and hands, that, vainly clasping,
Gain but ashes in return.
Ah, the subtile foe stands nearest
To the guarded palace gate,
And the music which thou nearest,
Cannot charm a beggared fate ;
And purpled light 'neath canopies
Grows weary to the gaze —
Bright glory, on my magic trees,
Turns tender through the haze.
If some genii of rich treasure,
Heaped in silent stealth, should rise,
Off' ring in unbounded measure,
To my startled, strange surprise,
It could never touch the feeling
That hath life in my domain,
Never bring the visions stealing
On this changing light again.
TR U TH. 5 5
Ah, the world may vainly proffer
All it holds, my Home of Dreams
'Tis beyond the tempting offer,
Though so faint and far it seems.
THERE is a real vitality in Truth
Which Error, shudd'ring, feels. 'T is flesh and blood,
Sinew and spirit, 'gainst a skeleton,
Whose dry bones crack beneath the weary weight
Of specious argument, and dazzling trope,
That piled to meet the clouds, in clouds are lost.
Truth has a power that scathes — a gentle grace,
That drops its freshness over dying hearts,
To warm them back to life. The unfathomed sea
Locks not such costly treasures in its caves,
As shine in eyes that mirror thee alone.
In Death's deep silence, and the busy mart,
Where gold -heaps fall to ashes 'neath thy touch,
That voice is heard ; and when the world is dumb,
The ghosts of good and great do walk the Earth,
Called from their quiet graves to speak again ;
And from mysterious clouds, that hide the shape
Of future ages, comes the solemn cry :
"We hear! "
When wasted souls that faint.
Turn from the beaten highway, to lie down
Under green trees, whose laden branches wave
Articulate with meaning to their ear,
Thro' the cool friendly shadows, those dim eyes
Grow brighter, looking on great worlds of thought,
Which telescopic vision, tho' it strain
Till the fair world is gray, would never reach !
Thou Glory of the Past ! thro' misty years
The light is falling, and shall fall for aye.
The barren rocks, that echoed to thy call,
Thick strowed with seed from Heaven, blossomed straight
Into immortal flowers — deep oracles,
Which the child's heart may read, that evermore
Bloom 'gainst the face of Sin, and Change, and Death !
ON one fair page of history,
So marred by tears and blood,
Is writ the thrilling name of one
Who proud and spotless stood.
With power in that strong right hand
To mould a kingly crown
Or wield a despot's secret sway,
He cast all guerdon down !
Oh ! when shall hands and hearts of power
React that dream again,
To lay their gifts at Freedom's feet,
And crown her Queen of Men?
The miracles of might and wrong,
That men of old have wrought,
Grow darker in the radiant light
Of his unsullied thought.
Their sceptres stretched from sea to sea,
And blighted where they fell,
A burning sense of hate and wrong
Foretold their coming well ;
And patriot blood as water flowed,
To hide the galling shame,
That crushed the souls of stalwart men,
Weak fear could never tame.
Their iron thrones, with ghastly wrongs
And splendors girt about,
Were raised above a nation's throes,
With triumph and with shout j
And mingled with that iron clang,
A deep despairing cry,
And the low wail of breaking hearts,
Rose solemnly on high.
On the fair fame of Washington
Is set the glorious seal
Of truth, that scorned the dazzling wrong
That other lives reveal.
No crown of gold or costly gems
E'er pressed that noble brow,
To freedom and to honor bared
With more than knighthood's vow.
The sword, that flashed in battle's front,
Dropped when the land was free,
And where he passed, fair children played,
Or climbed the Victor's knee.
LOVE'S FIRST QUARREL. 59
And Peace and Plenty strewed the ground,
To hide the stains of War,
And the deep forests echoed back
Glad shouts and songs afar.
The simple rites by loving hearts
And reverent hands were paid,
With viewless trophies hung around,
That never change or fade.
No need of glowing epitaph
To mark the simple spot
Where Washington is laid to rest,
Love's First Quarrel.
PARTED in anger ! we, who played together,
Careless as light clouds passing o'er the sea,
Whose restless feet beat time upon the heather,
Like echoes to our soul's glad minstrelsy ;
We, who have lisped the childish prayer at even,
With clasping hands, before the village shrine,
Or stood in twilight shade to watch the heaven,
Where gath'ring stars in modest glory shine;
60 LO VE 'S FIRS T QUAR R E L.
Whose souls in Friendship's temple met and mingled,
As thirsty hill-tops yearn to meet the showers,
Till love crept in, the topmost arch he singled,
And noiseless traced two names — those names were
The tender cord, wove at that solemn plighting,
Unsevered, bound our beings into one —
Thou wert the sun-ray shadowed places lighting,
My spirit's garden, whence all glad thoughts sprung.
By all the records of the past I call thee
To banish pride from out thy love-lit soul,
Unwhispered griefs perchance may soon befall thee,
And round thee sorrow's surging billows roll ;
But hearts throned in one spirit-throne may quiver
With a strange joy to meet the ills of life,
And calmly float down Time's quick gliding river,
Whose shores re-echo anarchy and strife.
This mocking Earth hath many a tale of sorrow,
Which poet's harp in melting tones may tell,
But there is none which shades the bright to-morrow
As when fond hearts in coldness breathe farewell !
Then let all shadows vanish 'neath the sunbeam,
Lighting again a deep, undying flame,
Be this the earnest of a lasting life-dream,
Where faith and sympathy together reign !
At Lauxel Hill.
WHERE the fair river with the flow
Of a deep thought glides past,
And the green banks their mystery hold
While life and parting last ;
Where morn and evening glories fall
Straight from the sky o'erhead,
Through summer's green and winter's frost,
There sleep a city's dead.
With simple mounds above their hearts,
Or 'neath the solemn tomb
That rises cold, unchangeable,
Where passionate mourners come,
The shadow of an unknown world
Rests softly o'er the spot ;
And through the trees a requiem floats
O'er loved and earth-forgot.
62 AT LAUREL HILL.
They sleep, — the child that went with flowers;
The maiden glad and fair;
The bride, death-crowned forevermore ;
Wife, mother, — all are there.
Youth, with its bright, uncounted dreams,
The man of wealth and pride,
Age, with its trembling, peaceful smile,
Rest silent, side by side.
Death and the waving grass keep trust
Inviolate to Heaven,
Though human hearts, in blinded love,
'Gainst the decree have striven.
Our weary eyes must weep their tears ;
Or, closed in half despair,
They turn so mournful to the sod :
There is no weeping there !
Alternate shade, with golden light
That flickers through the trees,
May sadden living hearts ; the dead
Change not at things like these.
Wouldst call beloved from out their calm,
To walk again Life's track,
Where thorns and joys grow side by side ?
They smile, and answer back —
AT LAUREL HILL. 63
Passions and griefs have faded far
From out their peaceful ken ;
No painful thought, no ling'ring fear,
Comes to their souls again.
Oh, Life, amid the quiet dead,
Smile with the glowing flowers,
That drop their wealth from out their hearts
Where lieth that of ours.
Nor sternly mourn where sombre yew
Keeps watch above the dead,
With singing-birds across its gloom,
And sunlight on its head.
The restless foot, the clash of earth,
Would stir in vain the air;
God wraps in His diviner calm
The souls we dream rest there.
Written on Christmas Day.
HAIL to this day ! let all with reverence bow,
And differing Nations join with one accord,
Hymning the song of Love and brotherhood,
To praise the holy gift of Heaven — our Lord !
Hail to this joyful day ! from happy hearts
And saddened spirits, send the thankful prayer,
Ye favored rich and ye thrice-blessed poor,
Whose Master came your poverty to share.
A voiceless melody around Him floats,
With seraph voices Heaven's high arches ring;
But from the depths of Man's earth-slumb'ring heart
Comes not the joy to herald forth His King.
That infant hand a viewless sceptre grasped,
Which, as the years in quick' ning circles rolled,
O'er human minds asserted power and life,
Defied dark storms, and would not be controlled.
TRUE FAIRIES. 65
That baby brow became the God-like crown
Of virtues clust'ring round the sleeping head ;
And, at that voice, vast multitudes would bow,
Awed into silence as the words were said !
Aye, bend in thanks the universal knee,
To Him enthroned above the stars of Heaven,.
And this life-memory of that Blessed One,
Pray that our many sins may be forgiven !
YOU believe in Fairies no longer,
In their legends most strangely sweet ;
And these heads, 'neath bright curls waxed stronger,
Could trample them under your feet?
You would search no more for their traces,
Through fresh woodland, in cup of flowers ;
No longer turn questioning faces,
Would give up all faith in their powers?
Ah, but gently let go these stories,
In this sudden wisdom of years ;
66 TRUE FAIRIES.
While I talk of the truer glories,
That will bring with them smiles and tears !
The Fairies you read of would hurry,
Would vanish away in thin air,
And often but add to the worry ;
Gifts, too, disappeared, unaware.
Yet gently, in this quaintest losing,
Let a deeper, rich knowledge fall ;
The world holds far better for choosing,
Than the Fairies are, one and all !
Who are coming, in faith, still coming,
North, South, far and near, East and West
O'er sea, over land ; in their roaming
They shall visit with gifts your home-nest !
Neither magical purse, nor the dropping
Of diamonds, will herald their way ;
Yet a legion of Fairies, close-stopping,
Could not bring you such treasure as they !
In their hearts, in your own, lie the treasure,
That shall make you most happy and free ;
Forbearance, good temper, and pleasure,
May ripen, like fruit on a tree.
God Fairies ! make haste to deserve them,
With their real name my story ends ;
He gives — will you also serve them,
These new Fairies who come vour friends?
'TWKE thou firm stand against encroaching wrong,
* Whether in specious robes it comes arrayed,
Or with a glaring falsehood on its front,
That shames true manhood's brow to look upon ;
And, with the God-inspired oracle of Truth
Ruling thy inner life, stand bravely forth,
Speeding thy mission to unheeding ears !
Let not thy fervor be that puny flame,
The breath of public censure puffs to death ;
But a strong light, that from its upper sphere
Fights glorious passage 'gainst opposing clouds,
And with no heraldry save its own truth,
To win it favor in the eyes of men,
With scathing power consumes the secret wrong !
Think'st thou the noble heart, that pulsing turned
With thoughts which might have nerved a demigod,
Within a prison is not self-sustained,
To bear frail fortune's foul indignities?
Perchance in Freedom's list he hath enrolled,
A brief embrace, a hurried parting, where
The household fire sheds its trembling glow;
And to the mighty cause his soul is given,
Oblivious to the voice of coward Fear.
Now, where stone walls shut out the light of day,
That glimmering entrance seeks 'twixt narrow bars,
The Patriot's foot treads not less firm than wont;
The moon that nightly gilds his lowly couch,
Sheds not more brightness on a slumb'ring world,
Than doth an honest conscience in his breast,
Drop calm and patience o'er his troubled soul.
Despondence's murky cloud hath passed away,
Reason and honor mutual vigils keep ;
Heaven frowns not on the pris'ner's noble cause,
Though crafty men would crush it deep in earth.
What though true hearts lie still and cold in Death !
Born of their spirit springs a mighty host,
Armed in the panoply of Sacred Right.
Though to all seeming his soul -stirring power
Hath winged its way to Heaven, whence it came,
Fettered that hand that scorned to clasp the wrong,
With no companionship save his own thoughts,
"WORDS ARE IDLEr 69
Immured in solitude and voiceless gloom —
Stands he not loftier in his viewless crown,
Than he who trembling yields, in servile fear,
To a dark wrong, and lays his freedom down
Upon the altar of Expediency ?
Words are Idle."
CALL them not idle, when a word hath power
To rouse pale ghosts from mem'ry's restless sea,
Or bring deep crimson to thy cheek the hour
That worldly honors shed their light on thee.
Not idle in their fearful might to gladden,
For jesting tongue may wrong their mystic power,
Draping the glory, doomed by fate to sadden,
With deepest shadows, at its triumph hour.
There bitter memory lives, though proud lips smiling
Press back upon the heart the unspoken cry,
That scatters dreams of truth, believed, beguiling —
That waked to beauty, but in grief to die !
Ere they have gone forever, past recalling,
When some green grave shall bring a rush of tears,
Oh, check the passionate thought, that never falling
Shall prove no torture to thy lonely years.
yO -WORDS ARE I D L E.'
Words thrill life's torpor into fever, changing
The weakness that endures to powers that dare ;
Raise prostrate nations to the thrones unchanging,
And royal purple God's own freemen wear !
Call them not idle when, in gentle breathing,
Is born the beauty of a poet-thought,
That 'mid Earth's dusky shadows strangely wreathing,
Lives in the radiance glowing dreams have wrought.
Not idle — when the soul, grown cold and weary,
Veiling its cloistered sorrow from the sun,
Is roused by kindly words, from silence dreary,
To wond'ring power at the magic done.
Not idle — sanctified in Truth's clear chalice,
High thoughts for priest, deep life for bended knee,
Thrilling the waking heart in hut or palace,
With glorious waking to its destiny !
Undying echoes from a spirit chorus,
Mingle their music with the cadence low
That seals a wrong forgiven, and bending o'er us,
The glowing stars a deeper glory know.
Dost call them idle? at Death's gloomy prison,
The stricken sisters bowed with drooping head,
Before their startled eyes, grave-bound, arisen,
Came forth the living, whom they mourned as dead !
■'WORDS ARE IDLE." J\
Nay, never idle when a low inflection
May reach the good in weakest natures cast,
That wand' ring aimless, in a wrong direction,
Discerns the pathway of its life at last.
Not idle, in the simple phrase, revealing
An inner life that shadows forth thy own ;
Waving aside the dusky folds concealing
A glowing world, where spirit reigns alone.
Not idle, human heart, in accents tender,
Disclosing hoarded wealth outpoured for thee
Through faith, and in its gen'rous, full surrender,
Deep'ning forever, as a mystic sea.
Not idle, in the broken tones that cover
To tender eyes the long withholden shame
In folds of reverent mercy — heart, discover
Thro' thine own weakness, strength to silence blame !
Not idle, in the rush of scathing power
That shrivels into dust some mighty wrong ;
Nor in the scorning of a mocking dower,
That bars thy list'ning to the angels' song.
A wond'rous power for good or ill lies folded
In simplest utterance. Heir of earth and sky,
Oh, deem not words are idle! they have moulded
Spirits for Heaven as they flitted by !
A Thought Versified.
HOW many sluggards bound in lazy sleep
Cumber the earth, where Nature's forces teem,
Within whose breast the ancient fires still burn,
Bright as if kindled new but yesterday;
While Man, with folded powers in his breast,
Waiting their summons to the work of life,
Thoughts to outstar the brightest ray
That ever twinkled on a cloudless night,
Unheeding dreams — himself the only part,
In Nature's frame-work that doth jar and break !
His willing spirit, hampered by the chains
Which the small imps of dulling custom weaves,
Goes thro' the plodding round of daily cares
With thought of little save the present need ;
Desires narrowed to a space so cramped,
That the good seed no deep earth- root can take,
And dwindling dies, if haply ever sown !
A THOUGHT VERSIFIED. f$
Like that old Sculptor on whose life-work form,
Unknown, the passions of his soul were traced,
We leave the impress of our idle sloth
In every wrong that walks unscourged our path.
Perchance we touch the hem of active life,
And the dull pulses throb with loftier aim ;
But looks and sneers of others damp their fire,
And the weak fabric of our high design
Doth lose its grandeur; we sink nerveless back
On the soft cushions of ignoble ease.
Oh, thou who read'st, if Time hath touched thy hair,
Or Youth still wraps thee in his ruddy glow,
Sever the petty chains of worldly thought
That binds thine own, and with a fervent grasp,
And earnest faith in Truth's supremacy,
Live thou, and work — not drone along the road,
Where opportunities are endless strowed !
HE came, and, like a sunset glow,
The crimson flushed her brow of snow,
Then faded as those eyes of brown
Met his so fondly looking down.
She closed the book, and slowly said :
"Your name will live when I am dead;
Your stronger soul was meant to glow,
To plan, to soar, to pierce below ;
Your eyes to search some deep recess
In Nature's pathless wilderness,
And mine, to rest on lowlier things.
I listen when the wild-bird sings,
While strangely stirs within my heart
Some echo to his Heaven-taught art.
I pluck and call a rose a rose ;
Its bloom alone my spirit knows.
I met a little stranger child,
That clasped my hand and softly smiled ;
My heart was gladder all that day. —
I have no wings to soar away,
I care not for the distant stars
That slant towards earth their shining bars;
LOVE'S EQ UALITY. ?$
I turn to wonders ever near,
My life, my thoughts, still centre here.
A vision of diviner things
Some passing token strangely brings,
The wisdom of the great and wise,
Oft hidden from my blinded eyes ;
Yet ever, when the pure and true
My spirit sees, it yearns anew
As now, when you are list'ning near,
It stands erect, to love, to hear.
But when I sit in lonely thought,
A strange and subtle change is wrought ;
I see afar a spirit bright,
That sheds indeed a tender light.
But will it always love and glow?
This truth my spirit fain would know. ' '
He listened, then a tender smile
Lit up that face, so grave the while,
And bending down he gently said :
"Give your true tears when I lie dead,
And let the flattering crowd stand free
To welcome idols yet to be !
The world is very bare and wide,
I need you standing at my side ;
Dismiss that thought of distant star,
I love you, dearest, as you are ! "
On the Death of an Infant.
HE. o'er whose form the loving glance would linger,
For whose dear sake the fervent prayers were said,
The young, the fair, marked out by Death's cold finger,
Like a sweet dream to its far realm hath sped !
He, whose brief, shadowy life awaked the numbers
Of love-rills slumb'ring in the human soul ;
He, that with fond caress was soothed to slumbers,
Hath passed like sunbeam to the Perfect Whole !
The lisping tones that fell in music measure,
Thrilling with tenderness the hearts that heard,
Still do they haunt us, memories of our treasure,
Like distant echoes from some heaven-claimed bird.
Yet, though the voice, so sweet and thrilling, never
Shall music at the loved one's call awake ;
And though the ties we hoped He would not sever,
Amid those earnest tears did ruthless break,
ON THE DEATH OF AN INFANT. JJ
Grieve ye gently, with no bitter mingling,
For earthly gem reset in light from Heaven ;
Death comes, the purest ones of earth still singling,
To shine as beacons to sad hearts now riven !
All the vain dreams of earthly good are over,
Wealth, Genius, Temporal Power are not for him;
But can aspiring love in thought discover
An earthly dream that makes Heaven's glory dim?
All spotless as the first white cloud of morning,
The soul hath left its earthly temple clay,
And, with the voices of blest angels calling,
To its immortal home hath passed away.
The Haunted House.
P RAY, narrow, and chill, with its roof moss-grown,
^-* Shutters half-hingeless, and creaking door,
Where the wind creeps in like a stifled moan,
Starting thick dust from the dingy floor —
Mocked in the water, sunlighted and clear,
Gliding o'er rushes deep-fringing its bank,
Like a shade of the Past, in its loneliness drear —
Stands that Haunted House in the morn dews dank.
The grass, long untrodden by human foot,
Rises tall and rank in the silent lane;
And the grim old poplars, with rain-bleached root,
Will never be covered with green again !
Three children, their satchels carelessly swung,
In the fresh' ning sunshine of Youth and of Morn
Sit on the fence, and one eager tongue
Tells the curse that blighted ere they were born.
THE HAUNTED HOUSE. jg
How one with a soft voice, but cruel and cold,
Lived where bright roses their odors then threw;
How he struck dead the wife he had wed for gold,
And hid his dark burden where pond-lilies grew.
The child of the farmer who tilled the land,
Crossing the stile in the morning gray,
Shrank from the touch of his proffered hand,
As frowning and trembling he strode away.
Long with pail in hand she stood in the lane,
Wond'ring and watching the path he trod;
Twice o'er his shoulder he looked again,
Then his heel marked deeper the dewy sod.
She tells how he fled to a foreign land,
Where suns were warmer, the flowers more fair,
Years brought him gray hairs, and a trembling hand
And a soul whose tenant was wild despair.
'Tis said, when yon village bell chimes one,
He rushes past with a strange, low sound : —
The children turn pale in the morning sun
And with frightened eyes at the reeds glance 'round.
'T is only a waterfowl's rustling wing
Wakens the echoes that slept once more,
And the children turn from the startled thing
And the gleam on the Haunted House is o'er !
In Memory of Charles Sumner.
^PO grander realm beyond our straining eyes,
A With hand unbribed, a man well proved has sped ;
This "whitest soul" puts off its earthly guise \
Press back all tears; we dare not call him dead.
Dead, when the farewell word his spirit spoke
For him he loved, still haunts the vibrant air?
The same true soul that scorned a nation's yoke,
Setting its scathing brand forever there?
Dead, when his work well done with bravest mien,
And faith close-tried, the world of sense recedes?
Passing the noiseless way to light serene,
We garnering up his noble words and deeds?
Dead, when the blessed seed he helped to strow
Bears life miraculous, enriching all?
When our new hearts, in silent overflow,
Would break old bonds, heeding a nobler call?
Ah, speech is poor and vain as sight and sound ;
The soul alone hath clearer vision given :
No, no! not dead — enwrapt in God's profound
He lives — unstained for Earth, most free for Heaven.
Poems of the War.
Dear land, whose Future still untold
Spreads far beyond the prophet' s ken,
Now wrapt In many a cloudy fold —
Land of our reverence — Hope of Men !
The blasphemy of doubt we fling,
And trample under stronger feet ;
A Future age thy calm shall sing,
In happy homes, in cadence sweet.
No shining spirit cleaves the air,
A winged, glad deliverer nigh ;
Through swerveless Truth, through strength to dare,
The Nation feels she shall not die/—F.
July 14, 1862.
We would kneel at Freedom' s feet,
Lo7u her voice, but strangely sweet,
Thus as face to face we meet.
Failure written in our Past,
Holding Truth and Honor fast,
We would face the Right at last !-
FROM the dark battle-cloud that falls,
With flashing lights between,
Around Fort Sumter's shattered walls,
Wherein brave deeds were seen;
From embrasures whence dauntless hearts
Swept Treason to its fate,
Comes the stern breathing: "Peace departs;
Wake, men, ere yet too late !
" Wake ! the strange phantom once so dim,
Assuming shape and life,
Tempts reckless heart and stalwart limb
To dare th' unhallowed strife.
Dark passions from the nether deep
That underlie the soul,
And lust of power that will not sleep,
Spring towards their promised goal.
84 THE SUMMONS.
"Wake, Freemen! in the mighty power,
That nerved true hearts of old,
Whose standard, flung through danger's hour
In many a starry fold,
Sends the warm blood from heart to cheek
In strange, electric thrill —
Awake ! that magic nerves the weak ;
No more, ye strong, be still !
"Is Liberty a poet's dream,
A vision ye forego?"
A nation's voice, with steel's bright gleam,
In thunder answers, "No!"
Then pour ye thousands of the land,
Whose souls are firm and true,
And dare, with God-anointed hand,
The deeds ye now must do.
Ye tender women of the North,
If secret tears must fall,
Smile bravely as ye send them forth,
Live answers to the call.
"God and the Right!" that battle-cry
Shall wake the hills again,
And Victory, with her stars on high,
Pour forth a deathless strain !
April 20, 1861.
A Voice to the Nation.
OH, brothers in that brotherhood the living God hath
Fling to the winds your impious doubts, no longer be
Rise, trusting spirits, all aglow with Truth's immortal fire,
Even now, thro' all the din of War, thrills music from
her lyre ;
As when autumnal, leafy hills faint, golden glories show,
Steals the veiled Christ-light smould'ring still from cen-
turies long ago ;
Already, from immortal heights, prophetic eyes may see,
Float spirit-voices, echoing clear the anthem of the Free !
No longer, brothers, bow the knee to empty rite nor creed,
The living grace of God is near to crown the living deed.
Too long in churches grand and cold the formal prayer
Too long the yearning soul of man beat 'gainst its narrow
86 A VOICE TO THE NATION.
What solemn bells, more solemn voice, or musical amen,
Prove ever to the earnest soul that Christ is come
Too long, oh, holy eyes and clear, now gazing on our
Was spurned the matchless crown of Life, whence peace
and glory came !
But, thro' all thraldom low and clear, a solemn voice hath
And o'er the bristling lines of war a human sunshine
A new, mysterious power is waked, and, all perplexed and
Wait sluggish hearts the truth alone with rushing
strength shall fill.
Oh, men ! ye may not hide the good that God himself
Already ope the noiseless gates of a diviner Heaven —
Already with a firmer tread ye walk the echoing street,
With new-born ardor spurning pelf, as ashes 'neath your
And by a viewless hand I see the new evangel traced,
That long shall sound o'er crowded mart and solitary
A VOICE TO THE NATION. Sj
The mighty heart of Nature beats, ye cannot bind it
When love of Home and Country sheds a light o'er
And, shrivelling in the purer air, may human burthens
And Liberty and Honor crown the peaceful days of all !
The Past is sounding from its grave, in warning tones and
" Oh, children ! from your deeper Heaven th' Archangel's
voice I hear.
On Life's great deep, man's partial themes are swayed
from shore to shore,
God's grander law, thro' calm and storm, abides forever-
The unconscious wrong our fathers laid upon our hearts
By manly lives from their dear names, I charge ye, sweep
Oh, say not, while unnumbered tents spring up on hill
That human thoughts are phantoms dim, and power an
empty name ;
S8 A VOICE TO THE NATION.
We call dread lightning from the Heavens, meek vassal
to our will —
Deep Nature yields her treasures up, and Man is monarch
The surging tide of Life sweeps on, beneath a mighty
To timid hearts and brave it speaks, addressing one and
The rust on fair ideals laid drops off, and calm and clear
The radiant forms of Hope and Faith are hourly drawing
Ye, whose free hands, embrowned by toil, are true, and
scorn to clasp
The deep, defiling wrong, that writhes to bind you in its
Ye, at whose hearth-side ease and joy till now were daily
Ye master-minds, whose every word strikes power from
Immortal spirits ! still be true, even now to prescient eye,
God's angel, with rich blessings fraught, stands waiting
your reply !
July i, 1861.
Knight of Truth and Liberty.
SOLDIER, whom the hurrying tide
Drifts a moment to my side,
All unknown your varied past,
Where your lot in life is cast,
What your future path may be,
All is hidden, dark for me.
This alone I know — the mien
Of a braver ne'er was seen,
And your deep eyes' steady glow
Tell of generous thoughts below.
On your brow no crown is placed,
By no gem nor chaplet graced,
Yet, true knight, your path has shone
Brighter than the monarch's throne !
Deeds, so grand that, human speech
Fail their deeper sense to reach ;
Thoughts, that flash so keen and true,
Selfish fears are cleft in two ;
Speech, that ringing grand and strong,
Thrills the heart like holiest song;
90 KNIGHT OF TRUTH AND LIBERTY.
Living men and patriot dead,
Mark the glorious path you tread !
Well I know your place will be
Foremost 'midst the brave and free,
Springing forth at danger's call —
Vanguard of the hopes of all !
Soldier, soon the battle's din,
Like fierce storm shall hem you in ;
Take a woman's earnest prayer,
All good angels shield you there !
Never spoke a holier cause —
Liberty and equal laws,
Justice for the wronged and weak,
Right for every lip to speak.
Truth, that flies from heart to mouth,
Cleansing fire to North and South ;
Herald of that lasting peace,
When the clash of War shall cease !
Unto you the charge is given,
From the list'ning courts of Heaven,
Oath of trust in secret sworn,
Pledge of faith in silence worn,
Faith in Right so true and high,
It would seem no cross to die —
Keep your soul from evil free,
Knight of Truth and Liberty !
RING loud, deep bell, and summon out
The men whose grandsires, strong and true,
Once battled thro' a storm of doubt,
To stand beneath the promised blue !
Ring in stern music on the air,
A calm resolve, a manly hope,
Electric o'er the dumb despair,
That chills faint hearts of narrower scope.
Ring out — we mark the omen well,
All shallow dreams of lust and pride,
And may a reverent Future tell
How Freedom lived, Injustice died !
Clang loud the measure true and bold,
Gray, trembling veterans chafe to hear,
And may a race of freemen hold,
In deed and truth, that freedom dear.
92 THE ALARM-BELL.
From cities, where the din of trade
Beats answer to the higher call,
From hamlets, nestling half-afraid,
Where mountains rise and streamlets fall :
From sheltered ease, from selfish care,
O'er busy throngs, thro' shaded glen,
Strike loud upon the vibrant air —
Ring out the bands of stalwart men !
The foe, a Nation's generous trust,
So blindly long misunderstood,
In guilty rage, to common dust
Would grind that nation's hope of good ;
Would spring with fierce, exultant cry,
O'er all our fathers died to win ;
Would make one blessed truth a lie,
Our boasted progress lost therein.
A living mildew on the land,
Where glitter sheaves of golden grain,
With shameless eyes and grasping hand,
The reign of rapine comes again !
THE ALARM- DELL.
Ring out, oh, wild alarum-bell !
Our manhood bears a living trust,
And not in vain your discords swell
O'er sacred, unforgotten dust.
Come forth, oh, men! the traitors' taunt
Hath waked a spirit deep and strong,
Thro' bristling lines to guarded haunt
One .fire shall blaze, consuming wrong.
Men, destined for a nobler peace
Than kings have dreamed or poet sung,
From books, and loom, and traffic cease,
Complete the task your sires begun i
ArRiL 23, 1861,
IN MEM OR Y OF THE DEAD OF
The Second Louisiana Regiment.
OW to death, 'mid shot and shell,
Heroes from a human hell,
Glad they rushed, let History tell !
With the Patriot-host that died
For their country, side by side,
Fused in one o'envhelming tide !
Nevermore the scourge nor chain,
Madd'ning curse on heart or brain,
To their lives will come again.
Darkened lives — without, within,
Through the battle's crash and din,
Divinely bright the light flamed in.
From our scorn, their daily cross,
From all doubting, sense of loss,
From Earth's shadow, pain, and dross,
LET THERE BE LIGHT:
They have passed, immortal men !
Nevermore will tongue or pen
Brand them coward-slaves again.
Slaves no more — the battle tide
Burst their prison-portals wide ;
Free — forever free — they died !
Let there be Light:'
NO longer slaves ! thro' storm and wrath,
Our birthright shall again be won,
But glows the rough, untrodden path,
In radiance of the rising sun.
Our shackles fall — with vibrant clang
By startled nations heard afar —
The Truth our deepest poet sang,
Bursts in the thunder- tones of war !
What tho' prophetic eyes are few !
Thro' scenes of grief and ghastly strife,
A trembling glory struggles through
The birth-throes of diviner life.
96 "LET THE RE BE LIGHT"
No passion in the answer borne
To listening ears across the sea,
A grander thought o'erleaps the scorn,
Cold England well may flush to see.
Poor arrows, long at random flung,
All taunts 'neath firmer feet are trod,
Rougher the way than foreign tongue
Thro' suff'ring still we grope to God :
Albeit thro' doubt we dimly see
The sun, that calm and radiant shines,
Broad hope of lost Humanity,
Tingeing with light the sombre pines !
No mocking censers' rich perfume,
For nobler duties stern and high,
Nor silvery chant nor roses' bloom
Where waiting millions fettered lie;
But manly strength to climb the hills
And meet th' Eternal face to face,
Where truer light the spirit fills,
Prophetic of a nobler race.
Our golden dust, with liberal hand,
To higher uses now is given,
And gathers many a loyal band,
Unflinching 'neath the storms of Heaven.
"LET THERE BE LIGHT." 97
God grant His deep, unwritten code,
To sanctify each parchment scroll,
To point the clear, diviner road,
To wake dumb life from pole to pole ;
To fleck the world with happier thought
Than kings with all their pomp have given,
Thro' human scheming, close inwrought,
Gleams here and there a link to Heaven.
Thro' scenes of strife, with tireless hand,
Be ours the seeds of peace to sow;
No longer on the shifting sand
Our manhood's priceless wealth we strow.
This banner — wet with doubting tears,
Its deeper meaning all flung out —
Shall wave above the misty years,
Where faith stands questioning of our doubt
No shining spirit cleaves the air,
A winged, glad deliverer nigh,
Through shame and war and half despair
The Nation learns she shall not die !
July 14, 1862.
WAITING in patience yet a little longer,
Soon will the Nation stand erect and free ;
Through each defeat, by every cross made stronger,
To usher in a broader liberty.
Watching in faith to hail the glorious morrow,
That sees us helpers of our brother-men ;
Beyond this hour of blood and bitter sorrow,
The reign of generous trust shall come again.
Watching in hope, the heavy storm is beating —
Strong be those hearts that wrestle 'neath its din
From your far camps, beloved, hear our greeting;
Gather our prayers with thoughts of Freedom in.
Waiting in love, so will our Heavenly Father
Give to these hearts the priceless boon we crave -
Peace, in whose equal light all men shall gather —
Diviner peace, that comes to heal and save.
ANGELS OF MERCY. 99
May truest prayers be deeds of noble daring,
Our praise — deep thoughts that make the whole world
Our church — one glowing soul, forever bearing
The Christ, no longer veiled, enthroned within.
Dec. 15, 1862.
Angels of Mercy.
THEY come ! they come ! by viewless hosts attended.
Ere from the battle's glare their path is free ;
By the great Father of us all befriended,
They come with active love and sympathy.
It needs no palms nor harp of gold — the story
Comes to our hearts a tender music-strain,
Floating through all the clouds of war and glory,
Those earnest voices sounding not in vain.
Spirits of healing, where in anguish lying,
Our own dear friends and brothers speechless sigh,
Gently they come, and 'midst the dead and dying
They pass no faint-breathed parting message by.
DOUBTER, shut from Freedom's reign,
Blinded to the nation's gain,
Past and present speak in vain.
Out beyond this stormy sea,
Shining far and stretching free,
Eyes of Faith may clearly see,
Calmer sails and happier shore,
With the guilty stain it bore
Lost in sunlight evermore.
Sealed beneath the living sun,
Thy dim vision, one by one,
Counts the links of good undone ;
Vainly, over earth and sky,
Flaming hints of God go by —
Dim the truth and fixed the lie.
Vainly to those clouded eyes,
Waking to a dull surprise,
Miracles of old arise.
Vainly through the ages past,
Life immortal holding fast,
Prophets cried and martyrs cast
From their purer souls the crime,
Hateful unto coming time,
Catching faint its funeral chime
Vague to thee the crowded past,
Vaguer still the issues vast,
In the stormy Present cast.
Vainly must the dream expire ?
Waves of strife still dashing higher,
Force thee from that weak desire.
Yet, above thy doubting sighs,
Where the Mount of Vision lies,'
Gleams of a bright Future rise,
Tingeing with prophetic glow
Dreary valleys stretched below,
Shrouded deep in ice and snow.
Clear cut on the morning air,
All the hill-tops, gray and bare,
Blossom as in spring-time fair;
Sinks all passion, dies the din,
With a purer light hemmed in,
Fades away the Nation's sin.
Then, beneath a common sun,
Duty's daily tasks are done,
Liberty and Law are one.
No loud trump will shake the air —
Scenes of blood, nor slave's despair,
Jar not on the quiet there.
Peace, diviner peace, will spring
Such a glory on her wing,
War shall be a baleful thing;
Proudly will the Nation rise —
By the fire in freemen's eyes,
Kings will read their destinies.
Stronger for this scathing blast,
Wiser made by trials past —
Peace will flood our homes at last !
The Land of the Free.
GRANDLY it breaks above the clouds of battle,
That may not hide the glory of the skies —
Above this deadly strife, the cannon's rattle,
The visions of a nobler future rise.
Morning upon the land, whose trailing shadows
Mocked the vainglory of the sign she bore ;
Baptized anew, these hills and fertile meadows
Glow in the light of Liberty once more !
Bless God it shines into our souls, my brothers,
Wrestling with evil 'midst the deafning fray —
Shed freely, proud, true tears, oh, stricken mothers,
Ye may not die of broken hearts to-day.
Shrined in a Nation's love, they live forever
Whose souls were braver for your parting kiss ;
It needs no gleam across Death's solemn river,
To light your vision to their deeper bliss.
104 TIIE LAND OF THE FREE.
Not by those paths marked out in Fancy tender,
Their feet the painless road of Pleasure trod,
In the stern joy of Manhood's full surrender,
Their wiser spirits found the way to God.
Vanished the glamour, faded all the glory, •
Gleaming from armor of the knights of old, —
Sworn unto Right, a more heroic story
To future ages truer lives have told.
Pour without stint the once close-hoarded treasure,
Spirits of good will name the work divine ;
With generous hand, with new and deeper pleasure,
Lay it, thrice-blessed, on a purer shrine.
Children of Him to whom the sick and dying
Turned with new faith when every hope was past —
From the deep gloom wherein your souls were lying,
The light Christ kindled leads ye forth at last.
By these fresh graves the voice of your despai
Cries to our spirit from a kindred clay, —
Lift up your hearts, so patient in the bearing,
The heavy stone of doom is rolled away.
OUR PATRIOT DEAD. 105
Come from your prison-house, for day is dawning ;
Stretch forth your hands, the shameful fetters fall ;
Heavy your burdens, deep our cruel scorning,
Lo ! the Most High hath heard your feeble call.
Oh, Land of Hope ! our love but flamed the stronger,
When new disaster made our spirits brave ;
Still may we trust, till on thy soil no longer
Clank the dull fetters of the weary slave !
Our Patriot Dead.
THE dead ! the dead ! no passionate pain
Shall make their shining memories dim ;
Death wipes away each earthly stain,
And so — a solemn requiem.
To honored graves, to distant sod,
No tender mother's eye may reach ;
Dust unto dust, their souls to God,
With trusting hearts, with broken speech,
We yield them back, our Patriot-dead ;
Forever blest their household fame,
Since, gushing where such valor led,
.A Nation's springs of cleansing came.
ON THE DEATH OF PRESIDENT LINCOLN, APRIL I 4, 1 865.
ACROSS the heights of future time,
To all true men of every clime,
One name will swell — a sound sublime.
Our children, 'neath a prosperous sun,
Peace, Law, and Right all blent in one,
Will own his glorious mission done.
Will say, "True hearts, speak out, who can !
There rose a cry, God shaped His plan,
He ruled events, He sent the man.
"A man who held the Nation's trust;
Pure gold, where much was dross and rust,
No tears above his honored dust !
"Our heart this shining memory wears
To bless like deep, unspoken prayers —
To make us strong 'midst daily cares.
FREEDOM'S MARTYR. 10*]
"He lived a Patriot, pure and true,
In that dark time so strange and new,
Our fathers' spirits wrestled through.
" He said to every slave, ' Go free !
To God, no other, bend the knee — ■
His glorious bidding speaks through me !
" No selfish thought, no blinding pride,
His vision clear, his soul stood wide
To God, and all the world beside ! "
Their gain — the trees will look more fair,
Their souls will breathe a purer air,
That Liberty is reigning there.
Their gain — the bitter loss is ours ;
They wound like thorns these glowing flowers ;
We grieve amidst glad, spring-time showers.
Triumphant will their voices ring :
"Glad tribute to his truth we bring,
Speak, men, his praise, ye poets sing! "
Ah, me, with trembling voice instead,
With sorrowing hearts, with drooping head,
We cry, "Our Martyr-Friend is dead!"
IOS OUR SOLDIERS AND SAILORS.
Forever gone, the face beloved,
The soul by kindliest feeling moved,
The Friend our grateful hearts approved
Oh, light gone out ! oh, vacant place !
We look each in the other's face —
Our little lives seem mean and base.
So pure, so true, we leaned on him,
Our hearts turn faint, our faith is dim,
Help Thou whose counsel aided him.
Ai'ril 17, 1865.
Our Soldiers and Sailors.
ROOM for the heroes who, with colors flying,
Through fire and blood have brought us Liberty.
A voice from every tattered flag is crying :
"The curse is lifted — lo ! the Land is free!
"Never again across your hallowed borders
The rebel clash, the slaves' low cry will ring ;
Never these green hills echo traitors' orders;
Freedom is won, God only shall be king ! "
OUR SOLDIERS A X D SAILORS. IO9
Room for the Dead — forever shrined in glory.
Whose souls rushed heavenward from victorious field ;
Their memory in our lives, their deeds in story,
Who made their loyal hearts the Nation's shield.
Room for the Dead, who living pined in prison,
With wistful eyes, denied the breath of day ;
For them at last th' immortal sun hath risen,
Whom hunger wasted, making gaunt and gray !
Oh, graves so wide and deep, in solemn keeping
Ye hide our martyrs, but we dare not say :
" Hide, too, the Nation's curse! " The dead awaking,
Would rise to chill us with their pale array.
Room for the Living, — men who braved all dangers,
Scaling grim forts or tossed on stormiest deep ;
For such, oh, brothers, shall we call them strangers,
Who toiled, watched, fasted, through our quiet sleep?
Room in our midst ; aye, welcome back the living,
Maimed, shattered, that a Nation might walk free !
Who shame our debt by their rich wealth of giving,
Who gave themselves for Right and Liberty !
WAITING hearts, in loving pride,
Cast all doubt and fear aside,
Set your household portals wide.
Yes, they come ! our weary night
Changes to divinest light,
Conquerors these for God and Right !
Proudly, 'neath the murderous hail,
Where the bravest well might quail,
They have rushed as cased in mail.
While upon the crimson sod
On to Victory's height they trod,
Martyr-souls went up to God.
Pages which the heart may read,
Set for that dark time of need,
Faces these which thrill indeed.
Faces whom a swarthy race,
Doomed to uses mean and base
Watched for as the day of grace.
Toilsome marches, wintry air,
Battle scars and sultry glare,
Left their silent impress there.
Home and Country, words of might,
Liberty and sacred Right,
Nerved them through the march and fight.
Honor for the deeds they wrought,
Praises deep that flow untaught,
Love responding to their thought;
Golden locks and silvered hair,
Grand the laurels which they bear,
Fame and Might and Truth are there !
With their standards proudly borne,
Waving in the light of morn,
Honored still, though drenched and torn.
Heroes from the fearful strife,
Dearer Sister, Mother, Wife,
Honor still more dear than Life !
Buried deep the Nation's shame,
Prouder laurels may they claim
Than our grateful hearts can name.
Freedom — oh, the sound is sweet!
Hands outstretched and hastening feet,
Make the victors' joy complete.
May 9, 1865.
TO REV. WM. H. FURNESS, WITH A CROSS MADE OF WOOD
AND MOSS FROM THE BATTLE-FIELD OF GETTYSBURG.
I STOOD where, pierced with shot and shell,
The forest trees lay scarred and bare,
Grim, dead memorials, left to tell
Of horrors hurtling through the air.
A silent glory bathes the sky
Late shrouded by that awful fray ;
Field after field, with mountains nigh,
The teeming landscape rolls away.
The fringing mist hangs soft and blue
Across the path whence treason fled ;
Tall grass grows green, where, tried and true,
Are laid at rest our Patriot dead.
Safe slumbers, 'neath the sheltering trees,
The twin of many a battle scar ;
Young children's laughter stirs the breeze
That bore the cannon's booms afar.
Through the long street, once smote with pain,
Whose stones ran blood, the golden tide
Of morning ripples night again,
For Heaven hath flung all barriers wide.
Swords into ploughshares ; all is calm ;
The victory won, who dreams of loss !
Huzzas melt in thanksgiving psalm ;
From out the wreck I shape the Cross !
His spirit fill the waiting world,
Who died that nations might be free;
To us, at last, this second birth,
The crowning life of Liberty !
AS foolish children long astray,
Perplexed we catch the distant light,
Of holier things than marked the way
O'er which we wandered thro' the night :
Thro' weeds and brambles thickly strowed,
A glimpse of beauty true and rare,
And spirits meet us on the road,
And say: " The Father waiteth there!"
What tho', in trembling doubt and tears,
We sow at last the golden grain,
Whose ripened harvest future years
Shall gather, free from loss or pain?
What tho' at battle-heat the sun
Strikes mocking thro' a misty glare —
Divinest labor scarce begun,
With heavy hearts and languid prayer ?
A sacred trust, with hopeful face,
Grand Nature holds the tender seed,
Amid whose sheaves a happier race
Sublimer thoughts of God may read —
Amid whose sheaves a breeze divine
Shall rustle to the souls of men,
Whereon a deeper light may shine,
The midday vision come again !
To us, that other lives may reap,
The calm of patient labor given —
Invisible to eyes that weep,
Spring changeless flowers that bloom for Heaven.
A gleam that is not of the morn,
Deep sounds upon the troubled air,
A blight upon the trampled corn,
And dearly loved close banded there.
Oh, Loyal Hearts ! so true and bold,
That tender women said : " God speed ! "
Releasing from a trembling hold,
Dear lives to meet their Country's need.
Brave Hearts ! the armor that ye wear
Is charmed against defeat or shame ;
One sword is gleaming on the air
Shall light the Nation on to Fame.
No Cloth of Gold, nor gew-gaws' blaze,
To fire the thoughts of earnest men —
Only one banner's light shall raise
Their sinking souls to life again.
No champions in a glitt'ring ring,
Where Honor strove and Beauty crowned,
These Heroes poets still shall sing,
To eager list'ners grouped around.
No suppliants they to powers unblest,
To cringe and bend the pliant knee ;
What king may hope the hallowed rest
Of those who die for Liberty?
Oh ! shame, if, through the fiery cloud,
That lays all pride and coldness bare,
We hear no voices ringing loud
That God, and Peace, and Truth are there.
If, weeping o'er the noble dead
That sanctify the battle-plain,
We miss the anthem overhead,
And demons shriek : "In vain ! in vain ! '
If from the Sea of Thought, that leaves
Rich treasures on its solemn shore,
No meaning the dulled heart receives,
And Heaven looks darker than before !
To us the good of stiff' ring borne,
True thoughts that make the spirit free,
A deeper life a noble scorn,
For all that wrongs Humanity.
To us the Faith that may not doubt
A Hope slow-moulding Earth to Heaven,
And Love, its messengers sent out,
To claim the souls one God hath given.
To us the seed-time, murmur not,
To other hands the harvest glow,
No dreamy, half-enchanted spot,
These waking hearts henceforth may know.
But graver duties, long delayed,
Once questioned with a sophist's skill,
Now gleaming thro' the op'ning shade,
We would at last indeed fulfil.
No childish task, oh, men ! who stand
Before the expectant world to-day —
A vigorous life throughout the land
Shall sweep all ling'ring gyves away ;
And Truth, that makes all labor light,
Shall mould us to a Higher Will —
Come purest joy or deepest night,
His Love enfolds the Nation still.
Songs op Freedom.
But we, whose deep, repented crime,
Once hid the light God made so fair,
But we, adaivn the aisles of Time,
A brighter history -will bear.
Oh, Land of Promise ! richly blest,
Through fire and blood thy dark sin shriven,
A truer life, a deeper rest,
To freemen s hearts shall no%v be given. — F.
Through the dull cloud that lowered above our head,
By the black cannon s mouth His truth was spoken.
Children no longer, earnest men instead,
Our baleful rest forez>ermore 7vas broken.
Stand up erect, bright sunlight round each head,
True kings, that need no longer blush, my Brothers :
And softly whisper to our martyred Dead,
" They gave their lives to heal and rescue others .'" — F.
'Break every Yoke"
1SATD, "I see the Christ — a tender glory
Shines thro' the haze of that thrice-blessed Past,
When, dropped in human hearts, the immortal story
Was graven deep to thrill the world at last.
" He lived, the wholly true, the richly gifted,
Good blossomed in the arid paths he trod —
To those deep eyes Life's solemn veil was lifted,
Thro' the strange dark His spirit passed to God.
'•'He lived — he died — but where the destined beauty
To our poor lives his holier one foretold —
Where the fresh paths of Love or sterner Duty.
Where walk the spirits of the pure and bold?"
Sudden an answer rang — the dewy splendor
Was struck from off the land by armed men,
And women, waiting in their patience tender,
Prayed the old prayers of Faith and Hope again.
22 "BR E A K E VE R V YORE.
With a new might — to sudden manhood lifted —
Sprang the pale student of forgotten lore,
And thro' the cannon's glare, the gray, the gifted,
Stood face to face with living Truth once more.
Over the land regenerate, viewless fingers
Erase the laws our manhood blushed to see,
And where the fearful crash of battle lingers,
Write — " Liberty wherewith Christ maketh free!"
Oh, hunted brothers ! wronged, deep scarred, and broken.
Across the crumbling walls of senseless pride
We stretch a brother's hand — the word is spoken
That makes ye freemen, battling side by side ;
And from broad sunlight to your deeper shadows,
Wherein a stricken yearning life may be,
Pouring the oil and wine — these rolling meadows
Shall yield diviner bread than eye may see.
From dreams of wealth, in which our souls delighted,
From lying phantoms to a living good,
Back to the primal laws our spirits slighted,
To the dear Christ, to common brotherhood,
We would return — so shall our mountains glisten
In the same light the ancient hill-tops wore —
That living hymn, to which the angels listen,
Shall wake the sceptic world to faith once more.
Over our land there steals a deeper glory
Than kings, with all their power and pomp, have known;
Heroic lives have wri.*- their deathless story,
And Freedom claims the living for her own.
ABOVE each mountain-top it shines,
The sacred message fraught with might;
O'er fertile vale, o'er dusky pines,
The Right, the grand, unchanging Right !
Above our marts, beyond our laws,
The dullest heart perforce must see ;
The Nation holds a blessed Cause,
This message comes to you, to me.
I 24 HI G H T.
Across each solemn battle-plain
With swelling hearts we proudly tread,
Where rise no sheaves of ripening grain,
Our harvest-fields of patriot-dead.
Above broad rivers' deepening flow,
O'er trackless forests, tall and grand,
O'er secret caves, their wealth below,
One searching message belts the Land.
A race is born ; from sea to sea
Our voice is heard — "It comes at last,
The day of Peace and Liberty ;
Thank God, thank God, the night is past!"
A hideous power, that is not dead,
Grim Treason waits its final doom ;
By futile hopes, by malice fed,
It lingers still, we grant it room.
Yes, still it creeps with stealthy pace,
To strike at least one coward blow ;
Freemen, we share this foul disgrace,
The vaunted friends of high and low.
Ah, Brothers, are we really free
Till each can show his record white,
A heart self sworn to Liberty,
To God, to man, to sacred Right?
ONCE, wrapt in sluggish unbelief,
We delved beneath the blessed sky —
Held dreams were vain, and gold was chief,
All honor void, God's truth a lie.
Our vision blinded, one by one,
As shriv'lled in miasmic air,
Each generous thought beneath the sun
Died out amid the vapors there ;
Or if, in some unwonted tide,
A deeper feeling rose within,
We thrust the troublous thought aside,
To clasp anew a dearer sin.
One deadly wrong, whose shadow fell
Across our very household floor,
Grim spectre from the realm of hell,
Struck death into our manhood's core.
The hills stood crumbling at our will,
The rock-girt Earth her treasures poured -
The seasons came, all regal still,
Glad servants where our grain was stored ;
26 THE X ATI OX'S MANHOOD.
And gazing where broad rivers flowed,
With hearts of pride and painful skill,
With backward steps, along the road,
We fashioned laws to human will.
In vain ! as weeds the angry blast
Whirled sudden from their chosen bed,
Those iron laws are with the Past —
God's blazing message writ instead.
The Nation's Manhood.
NO more a dupe to gilded dross
And mocking forms the Nation stands,
But pledged to bear each heaven-sent cross,
With prayerful eyes and stainless hands ;
Pledged still, thro' every present storm,
To hold her heavenly birthright fast —
Hid under every shrinking form
To own a brother's claim at last.
THE NATION'S MANHOOD. \2J
No more to shame that standard fair,
A groaning world hath yearned to reach,
That conquering, sacred sign we bear,
Thro' cannon's roar, thro' deadly breach ;
No more with Wrong a jocund guest,
All lavish dainties freely spread,
While at our gates God's poor, oppressed,
Toil, fainting for their scanty bread ;
No longer with unblushing face
To hear the flatteries idly given,
No more to spurn the saving grace,
Translating this poor Earth to Heaven.
Pledged still to waft o'er fruitful plain,
And waters white with laden sails,
An anthem that shall ring again
When kingly voice forever fails.
Our bubbles burst, the glamour past —
A truer lesson, branded deep,
Fair Freedom in the van, at last,
The Nation wakes from nightmare sleep.
ON the black night of War and shame,
To human hearts a searching flame,
Fair Freedom, the deliverer, came.
" Wake, men, and heed my earnest call!
God rules, His Heaven is over all ;
Release your brother from his thrall ! "
Few sprang to meet the vision bright —
The Upas-growth of Slavery's night
Distilled strange blindness on our sight.
And still with doubting voice we cried,
•''Foes pressing close on every side,
We dare not choose thee for our guide !
" Within our homes the traitors stand,
With poisoning breath, with stealthy hand,
They break our power throughout the Land !
In sterner tones the Spirit spoke,
" Oh, prostrate 'neath a life-long yoke,
Awaiting a yet heavier stroke,
" Be men ; while thunders shake the sky,
Justice dishonored passes by ;
Still rises up the slave's low cry.
" Heroic men your soil have trod ;
Its grave is dug; beneath the sod
Hide this foul crime accursed of God !
"Will ye not yet His law fulfil,
When martyrs, beautiful and still,
On crimsoned fields await your will ?
"With straining eyes the bondmen wait,
The Rebel tramp goes by their gate,
The golden promise tarries late.
"Still, still with broken speech they pray,
1 The road is rough, and dark our way,
Send, Lord, at last, the blessed day ! '
"Your oath shall make your brother free,
Heaven sends no other guide than me :
God give your spirits grace to see! "
ABOVE the battle's fearful din,
I heard that voice celestial call;
My soul grew strong, Hope entered in ;
I said: "God cares for great and small!
"Oh, noisy mart, beneath the skies,
Your treasures vanish one by one ;
A grander temple will arise,
Thick set with gems beneath the sun.
"To gain, to hold, oh, paltry show!
A truce with treacherous foes to keep ;
Forbidden still th' indignant glow,
Proscribed that anger just and deep
"Which rises when a brother's wrong
Cries that the solemn dead might hear;
Lo, Freedom speaks, her power is strong,
God's truth is shining, steadfast, clear.
FREEDOM'S VOICE. I3I
" How blest who, on victorious sod,
Fight the great battle of the Free !
Whose lives are spent for man and God,
Whose dying thought is Liberty.
" They wrestle with the powers of Hell;
Their steel is tried, their souls are strong ;
A woman, loving Freedom well,
I only have the power of song.
'"Nor wealth nor strength to aid the Right,
That makes a struggling Nation free! "
The Spirit spoke: "If on thy sight
Shines clear the light of Liberty,
" Thrice blest, while thousands sink with doubt.
What means this sudden, strange distrust?
Canst fear to speak the message out,
Sent straight from Heaven, to kindred dust?"
My soul stood up, " Come joy, come shame,
One in the still increasing throng,
Who feels a hated brother's claim,
I own the Right, abhor the Wrong !
132 FREEDOM'S VOICE.
"If, haply, on a careless ear,
Some cadence linger clear and true,
I only speak the things all hear
Who listen, Freedom, unto you."
She comes, a glory on the air,
She bends above our martyrs' graves.
And, pointing to a Future fair,
She claims the race long crushed as slaves.
Oh, brothers, standing 'neath the folds
That wave so grand in Freedom's light,
Rest only that the life she holds
May pass anew before your sight,
That, ravished with the hope she brings,
Your hearts grow large, and strong, and true ;
That, drinking from diviner springs,
The Nation's life be shaped anew !
Free Men at Last.
A WORD of hope, a word of fear,
That lowering traitors quailed to hear,
The Nation's pledge rang loud and clear.
The winds its glorious burden bore,
It swept the Land from shore to shore —
All men are free for evermore ! ' '
A subtile power, that would not stay,
Through Rebel towns, through forests gray,
Through dreary swamps it sped away.
Still followed by the Nation's prayer,
Made strong, at last, to do and dare,
And Freedom was the watchword there.
No longer dumb, the Truth held fast,
The spell is o'er; War's scathing blast
Discrowns our tyrant foe at last !
34 FREE MEN AT LAST.
Oh, friends, on this thrice-glorious day,
The curse of bondage swept away,
God give us grace with truth to say :
"In memory still of One who died,
No thought of self, no narrow pride,
Shall keep us from a brother's side.
" Henceforth we walk the path He trod ;
The ground we touch is hallowed sod,
Transfigured in the truth of God ! "
July 4, 1865.
Poems of the Spirit.
Oh, Brave and True of countless creeds,
At farthest pole , 'neath tropic sun,
If striving towards Immortal Needs,
With prayer exult — your part is done.
The Past a servant at your feet,
The Present changing as you gaze ;
While prophet forms with voices sweet
Float thro' the Unfathomcd Future's ways. — F.
The depths behind, below — through Heaven s sweet kindness
I taste tli£ joy of Life, no more its sadness.
So would I live — freed from dim clouds of blindness —
To />rove the deeper sanctity of Gladness. — F.
Only a change to deeper, richer life instead;
Love is divine, immortal ; lo, there are no Dead !
GONE long, dark days of Childhood's strange de-
No longer hid the glory of the day ;
With younger heart, a fresher spring-time wearing,
Than when beneath those shadows passed away.
God seemed so far I could not know His kindness ;
With love no curious eye may ever see,
Through all the shadows of this mortal blindness,
My spirit rises to commune with thee.
Once, in the anguish of that earthly parting,
Rose to thy lips prophetic cry of pain.
Blossoms an answer, in thy soul upstarting,
Oh, Best-Beloved, why I on earth remain?
I 38 M V SPIR I T- M O THE R.
I know that, safe within broad, sacred portals,
Nearer to God, undimmed thy spirit stands,
One in the shining host of true immortals,
Forevermore within those shining bands.
No bitter memory, no repented murmur,
Intrudes to dim my shining dream of thee ;
Years only make this tender love-bond firmer,
But make more sure thy immortality.
I would, for thy dear sake, a vision rarer,
A truer heart to lift in prayer were mine ;
I would the record of my life were fairer,
To read with that unselfish one of thine.
All that is deep beneath this voice that falters,
Aught that is pure and fair amid the shade,
As worshippers bring tribute to their altars,
Lost Mother, on thy viewless shrine is laid !
So far, so near, within God's tender keeping
Both spirits wait — I know but this, no more;
Till, free from earthly pain, from mortal weeping,
We meet, at last, on a diviner shore.
" For all the boundless Universe Is Life."
1 LOOKED my last on a beloved Face,
In the same room where oft he sat and talked to me ',
A silence folded the familiar place,
The brooding hush of Immortality !
It shrined him, like a king, with silver hair
For crown — all the wide Future for his new born-state.
Across the solemn whiteness imaged there,
I read clear entrance past a troublous fate.
He is not dead, whose whiteness, slowly borne,
Was strangely laid in earth at rest that wintry day ;
The face I kissed will never more return —
From all repression, pain, God oped the way.
His way, not ours ! A picture comes once more
Of the dear head, one day, uplifted, as I came;
His hand sought mine, as thro' an open door
Soul spoke to soul, of things we rarely name.
A light I never saw before was on his face,
A glad heart-music in the voice, so young and low,
As holding me within a half embrace,
He spoke of her he loved — so long ago !
Oh, Heart, so good, so rare, so strange perplex'd,
I shared that tender joy, just entering on your peace !
This world is sweet, and yours and mine The Next ;
My heart most happy in your glad release !
WHEN I am dead, let not the organ peal
In deep and solemn tones above my bier,
Nor light hearts throb in silent agony
O'er the still form of her they once held dear.
When I am dead, may no proud pillar rear
Its head triumphant o'er a child of clay,
Telling to many a careless passer-by,
That from the earth my soul has passed away.
But, far from hurrying life, lay me at rest
Where some old woodland tree its shade may fling,
And o'er the simple stone that bears my name
May flowers that I have loved and tended spring.
I ask alone the silent, heartfelt tear,
Which leaves no deep, embittered trace behind,
And as a requiem for my parted soul,
The mournful, low-toned music of the wind.
WHAT, though mc
more perfect seed of Truth we fling,
(Through God's deep, present grace,)
Lies long in earth, awaits a future spring,
To glorify the race !
This seed is earnest of the harvest sure ;
Nor how, nor when, nor where
God breathes into each soul a vital cure,
He trusts not to our care.
Trusts not, yet makes us heralds of the light,
Shadows of Healing sweet,
To bid the devils sink in deepest night
Men, cleansed, rise up complete.
He sends us, laden with a quickening thought,
Our scrip, glad hope, true cheer,
Anoints unworthy hearts Himself hath sought,
To make His Kingdom clear.
The Higher Law.
UNDER written code of men,
Sickly lives are hid and propped ;
Dying praised, the deep Amen
Sounds by upturned earth, and then
Pause — and mockeries stopped !
Still the unguessed cripples go,
And the blind with wavering will
Find no sweet Bethsaida flow,
Feel no Presence answering low,
From His meadows still.
Yet across their wandering track,
Flame unseen, diviner laws,
Come pure hearts to win them back,
Angels to their soul's deep lack,
Helpers in Christ's cause!
Grand, clear Light ! that maketli free
Out of hearing, out of sight,
Fit for better worlds to see,
Heirs of Immortality,
Guide all hearts aright !
Oil, envy not the prophet's glance,
The poet blest, nor saint divine,
The grand reformer's svverveless lance,
If, haply, God's great world is thine.
If, step by step, in worldless trust,
Some dim, yet Heaven-directed way,
A radiant shadow on its dust,
Thou walkest towards perpetual day !
What though the awful Future blazed
Across the Phantom- shore of Time,
That stirring voice in song was raised,
And martyrs passed in joy sublime !
INFLUENCE. 1 45
These shadow forth the eternal laws,
Untraceable in crumbling stone,
These do but hint the Viewless Cause,
But dimly hint of God alone !
Thank Him, that shrined in kindred clay,
Such blessed rays forever shine,
With stronger heart pursue thy way,
He oped their path — He ruleth thine!
For, by the flashing forth of the spirit within, be its light heavenly
or lurid, do we help or hinder souls around us.
FOR good or ill ; beycnd all hope or praying
Our shadows fall,
Despite each pretext, duly-measured saying,
And past recall.
For good or ill; to aid towards clearer vision,
A grander scope,
Or, shrivelling joy, to make this Earth a prison,
Barring out Hope.
46 I NFL UENCE.
For good or ill ; to bring parched land green glory,
Whence glad streams run,
Or, like a spectre in ill-omened story,
Make dark the sun.
For good or ill ; the mystery of our being
We cannot reach ; «
The subtile life within is past our seeing,
And baffles speech.
We build, unconscious, shrines, where souls may enter,
Where blessings fall,
Or, cleave a new-born sweetness to its centre,
To mar it all.
O'erleaping, undercreeping all our speeches,
Beyond our ken,
Something of what we are comes forth, and reaches
The souls of men !
OH, thou that read'st, with troubled eyes and yearning,
Of saints and men of old,
Around whose path angelic forms returning,
Dropped fire when faith waxed cold —
Brighter than those in patriarch's dream descending
Through the deep, starry blue,
'Round each lone worshipper in thought ascending,
Gather the angels, too.
Gazing through windows of the Past, whose glory
The Architect Divine
Crystalled in glowing forms and thrilling story,
Wherein His Sun might shine.
Alas ! for thee, blind votary of that splendor
Turning dim Earth to Heaven,
If, crushing under foot some token tender
The bounteous King hath given,
Thou seest only where gray silence, falling,
Shapes to itself a throne,
The living sign, and hear'st angels calling,
Through the far Past alone !
These messengers of God ! in each heart-beating
That still dilates — each thrill
Deep Nature wakes, her holy lays repeating,
Speak His dear envoys still.
Oh ! Child of Him, whose promise, earthward bending,
Shapes the prophetic bow,
Deeper and fresher rays thy heart attending,
In spirit bending low,
Pour through a thankful, earnest heart the blessing
Lips vainly strive to tell,
True angels round thy way with awe confessing,
To warn and guide thee well.
Never from mausoleum grand and hoary,
The angel plumes his wings,
From Heaven direct, a fresh, celestial story,
To some wrapt heart he brings.
Wouldst prove the power that seeks some open portal,
Poor, human though it be?
With smile that melts thy heart, oh, blind immortal,
He bends to make thee free.
Free from all fever-heat — the brooding morrow,
Thy little world's half sneer,
From haunting ghosts of weakness, shame, and sorrow,
From envious thought or fear ;
All lowly things of Earth bud forth in beauty,
Where his true shadow falls,
And rises Heaven -high each simple duty,
Grand as cathedral walls.
Into thy hand the mystic key is given,
Whence light streams full and free,
In thine own soul may glow a deeper Heaven
Than outer eye may see.
Wouldst turn from daily ministrants and duty,
That folds a spirit-crown,
To sigh — and ravished with its solemn beauty,
In the lost Past lie down?
1 CLAIM my birthright, every thought of good
Remotest Time may proffer to the sight,
Each hint, by bard or prophet understood,
All tones that teach of God and breathe His might
Believing revelations all divine
That through the Present just as strangely run,
Wherein each daily life may feel the sign
Of Heaven, transfiguring simplest duty done.
I claim my birthright ; neither bolt nor bar
Across my heritage of Heaven or Earth \
Visions immortal, striving from afar,
Thoughts that attest the soul's diviner birth.
Beauty that glows on meadow, stream, and tree,
Radiance of starlight, glory of the day,
All better thoughts, the gift of God to me,
Who gives, with royal grace, His best away !
The Love oe God.
OH, wondrous power, that drives us from the place
Our feet perverse so dangerously have trod,
Enfolding still, within that strong embrace,
In heavenward drawing, mighty Love of God !
Broader than heaven, deeper than soundless sea,
That hems us in and will not let us go ;
A yearning thought, from which we cannot flee,
A voice divine, that whispers sweet and low.
Piercing even hells our sevenfold sins have made,
With iron walls that bar the light of morn,
It comes — a shining sword — we shrink dismayed,
Yet wrestle upward till we greet the dawn.
Oh, Love of God ! we babble still of wrath,
Hiding us in the dust, and will not rise
To read the daily message in our path,
To eat the daily manna from the skies.
Oh, Love of God ! that lends a deeper glow
To every sunset, tints each flower anew,
And to our spirit sends its overflow,
To fructify our being through and through.
Possess me, mould me, that the truest, best,
May shine before me where Thy Son hath trod,
That, o'er my daily thought and dream of rest,
May brood thy presence, changeless Love of God !
OH, Soul, it needeth no transcendent vision
Of angels floating o'er a dazzling shore,
To prove thy heritage in scenes Elysian,
Beyond Earth's jarring and deep Ocean's roar ;
No sudden rending of thy narrow prison,
Nor voice mysterious from the couch of peace
Where dust meets dust ; the flowers, all newly risen,
Glowing with gladness at their bright release.
ODE. i :
By the green glory and the changing splendor
Of this fair Earth, that to the pulsing grass
Giveth her life, in motherhood so tender,
Under the starlight men so coldly pass,
Through strains of Music, holy in their pleasure,
Thrilling the heart as by a viewless chain,
Through feelings new that float along the measure,
As Earth were linked to Paradise again.
By the strange power that, in its noiseless sweeping,
Leaves man and outer things so far below ;
By thy self-wronging, oh, my soul, and weeping,
Pours the glad truth resistless in its flow ;
By this deep life — born of a silent sorrow —
Hid from the blighting of an earthly air;
By the Dear Names, that hang the immortal morrow
All over with the beauty angels wear ;
Thus, oh, my spirit, by the ceaseless token
Of a thin curtain 'twixt thy realm and me,
By every cloud that hides the light unbroken,
Cometh the knowledge that is "part of thee !
" AND HE Til A T SEE Til ME
Seeth Him that Sent Me"
TRANSCENDING every childish, crude tradition,
Cold on the soul this lay of life will fall,
Till in the heart we recognize His mission,
Who came, indeed, to claim and save us all.
To claim through the deep sense of higher beauty,
Shaming our estimates, our worldly dross,
To cleanse through our new-pulsing thought of Duly,
That glorified, for aye, the accursed Cross.
To save from sins by drawing us above them,
Nearer the shining level where He stood,
Who, living, dying, said of men, "I love them;
Our Father sends the world celestial good."
It needs no outward sight to feel His glory,
No sceptic touch of wounds nor robe as then,
Still fresh as Heaven, thro' all the ages hoary,
He lives forever in the souls of men.
THE WIDOW'S MITE. 155
Lives to redeem, true Saviour, Friend, and Brothei,
His soul made radiant that our own may see,
In Christ the fulness given to no other,
The gift divine the Father sends to thee !
The Widows Mite.
ALONE, obscure, amid the glittering crowd,
With trembling haste, her treasured all she cast
To others' need. Who notes the act aloud?
The Prince of Love and Light, who that day passed !
Eternal gift ! Her sweet, true deed has come
Down through the centuries, with the light divine
In which Christ wrapt it, and no heart so dumb
But feels the spirit through that outward sign.
The throng has vanished, just this golden thread
Of sympathy irradiates that distant day;
Of all the treasure this remains instead —
She gave, and from her heart, her all away !
" For an angel went clown at a ceitain season into the pool, and
troubled the water." — John v. 4.
T^AR-OFF Jerusalem ! in spirit-keeping
1 We guard thy story with most reverent care,
Waiting, 'mid halt and blind, the time slow-stealing,
That brings, at last, the healing angel there.
We see the bubbling water rise for saving,
Gaze with the crowd, that feel the silent grace
Welling from Earth, in that mysterious laving,
Where Christ stands with the gathering, face to face.
So we believe, with awe upon our faces —
Then sigh, turn from the throng to haunts of men,
Knowing not healing in familiar places,
Unconscious that the angel comes again,
And goes, alas ! the story without ending,
When, in our soul's strange blindness, prone we lie,
To let each winged chance that God is sending
To our weak hearts, Bethesda-like, drift by !
Near to Us.
" fie is not far from any one of us, for in Him we live and move,
and have our being."
SUCH differing voices cavil in my ear,
I would claim Truth and live.
Within my soul the Spirit answered clear :
"Thou hast it — Give."
; 'Alas, alas, but in such scanty store,
And mine this faltering speech."
Still that low answer: " Wouldst indeed have more?
* Teach ! I who fain would wait for fuller song,
A deeper range and wide!"
Still, still the answer: "Wouldst indeed be strong?
Lo, here thy Guide !
"Throw wide the living temple to my light,
So wilt thou understand
Deep things, beyond the ken of sense or sight,
Yet near at hand."
E very-day Character
Is growth divine, and who shall say,
" Mine is the work," to God, who thrills our clay ?
PATIENCE preach for others' slips?
Lo, I take it for my own,
Speak the word with reverent lips,
Meant in deepest undertone.
For our virtues — more or few —
Let them swell, in God's own time,
Surest blossoms, piercing true,
Hardest clod, untoward clime.
Digging not to see them grow ;
Only standing, meekly bold,
For the Spirit's overflow,
Rich with seed of power untold.
Doing just the daily good,
Knocking softly at our door ;
Sweet deliv'rer, long withstood,
Proffering life to rich and poor.
ANCHORAGE. 1 59
Giving the Great Helper scope,
As a waiting instrument,
So to thrill with deeper hope,
Strike the chord of rich content ;
Letting all our problems stand
Till the coming light shall sweep,
Bright, eternal, over land
Just beyond our seeming sleep !
NO chances for the soul's best freightage sweet?
His wind shall waft it, favoring channels strangely
God's certainty enwraps. His angels fleet
Strong in their prescience, lightly mock our half-despair.
A ship, long waited, silent cleaves the sea,
'Neath stars, now starless, flecked with storm and speed-
Glides on, till, moving deep, uprising free,
Some heart, exultant, cries: " At last, at last, come
In the past God spoke — What then !
Evermore He speaks to men.
'PHE world, with new force rousing, clear and sweet,
A Athwart the creeds, a Voice Divine will ring,
A large, bright faith. Why, Soul, in far retreat
Of cave or temple, miss its glimmering !
O'er soul of all the Holy Spirit broods,
To touch this daily path with quick' ning breath.
Why tarry in the Past, its solitudes,
Where prophets cried, still consecrate, in death !
This common life of ours must hold the seed
Wherein lie hid all glory, beauty, strength,
That all the ages, all the saints shall need,
To bridge the space 'twixt Earth and Heaven at length.
I faintly see, amid old tombs no more,
A flitting ghost — I seek the Heavenly Bread ;
For garments clasp, His Best-Anointed wore,
I stretch my hand, to feel God's touch instead !
INTO my heart, and into my brain,
Comes the same message again, again,
Insulate far from the world's drear pain.
Filling my soul with new rays of light,
Quick' ning my spirit with sense of sight,
Giving my feebleness glow of might.
Just one Thought, that the Spirit's Decree,
Neither through Book nor by bended knee,
Comes in its own, truest majesty.
Worship and Book, these will still remain,
To quicken feet towards another's pain, •
To wipe from our record sloth and stain.
Bended knee and the Book of Grace,
Anchorage glad in true life of the race,
Hunger and food, will still claim place.
14 * L 161
Anchorage only, that, bold and free,
Rested, our ships will go out to sea,
That fishers of men our spirits be.
Under the dawning, far in the night,
Under His stars, new reading in sight,
Brave for His presence, seeking more light.
Children once aliens, at length we stand
Claiming estate in the promised land —
Who shall frustrate what our God hath planned ?
CO MP ENS A TION.
For Fatience was the lesson writ ;
And, through God's grace, I mastered it.
F'ROM that one virtue, which my life seemed set to win,
With wondering thought, half pain,
I turn away; for, lo ! the happy light flows in,
And careless peace shall reign.
I know that He who, tireless, brought me through the
To happier place and mood,
As surely set sweet Compensation in its room,
And now wills Gratitude !
The Flowers oe Hope and Trust.
HIS garden still, this blossoming world of ours —
Sweet bird-songs ringing on the spring-time air;
His garden still, tho' storms grow with the flowers,
And many a tangled heath lies gray and bare.
Lo, in the midst our gods of wood and clay
We rear with eager hearts and blinded will ;
They crumble into dust, or only stay
To mock us through green leaves the shadows still.
And mysteries girt us close on every side,
The deepest, He who sendeth all the rest.
We question — never yet that voice replied,
Only His silent wisdom stands confessed.
Oh, Spirit of Pain, I cannot understand
His purposes who sends thee heart and will,
Rebel both baffled, yet one Master Hand
Sweeps all the chords of life, and I am still !
I only know the flowers of Hope and Trust
Each trembling heart may gather by the way,
That thro' all restless pain His ways are just,
Who sends the morning's glow, the twilight gray.
The Inner Key.
"And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost."
IT needs no blaze of Pentecostal flame
To lend our human hearts the inner key ;
God's presence and His touch are still the same,
We only lack the clearer eyes to see.
By ways we know not are our spirits led,
Up, up the Mount of Vision, till we stand
Most silently when most our souls are fed,
Claiming our heritage on every hand.
The miracles of Earth, and Air, and Sea,
More wonderful than in the days of old,
Encircle all our paths; God's Spirit free,
Brings daily answers to the true and bold.
No sinners curst, blest heirs of Heaven are we ;
His Spirit, striving through our human clay,
Writes a new page of sacred history,
As Life runs on in its diviner way.
THE INNER KEY. 165
When we think not, His revelations come,
Awaiting not our groove in church or creed ;
Though benedictions on our lips be dumb,
The Father claims us in our barren need.
On the far hill-top, in the daily talk,
On summer-wind, His Spirit large and free,
Or where I think alone to sit or walk,
May gently wait, and speak or question me.
As in the life of One who walked the Earth
In distant days, the gates of Heaven stood wide,
So we, attesting the diviner birth,
May, here and now, draw angels to our side.
Angels in better thoughts, a countless host ;
On the heart's altar mounts a deeper glow ;
Far off and dim the light of Pentecost;
Clear, sweet and near, the Spirit's overflow.
The Grace of God:
THROUGH the unrest that mocks the joys of sense,
. O'er the deep void unfilled;
Through weariness Earth cannot recompense,
Heaven's freshness is distilled.
Not as thou deemest, Soul, in wondrous power
That wraps thee evermore,
Nor through the vision of ecstatic hour,
Where angel forms adore ;
Not through that lore that human hands have traced
To prove its beauty rare —
In living lines, that shall not be effaced,
Record its annals fair.
Canst heed the logic, eloquent and proud,
That charmed th' enraptured ear,
When in lone agony thy head is bowed
Above a loved one's bier?
"THE GRACE OE GOD." \6j
What the rich trac'ry of earth's temples, reared
In pomp of boastful art,
To one true feeling through the life revered,
Inscribed upon the heart.
Oh ! human soul, irresolute and cold,
Expectant of a sign —
Deep sympathies aroused, the life unfold,
Thou namest well "divine."
Think not o'er narrow line of Forms alone,
Nor paths by zealots trod,
Falls the unuttered beauty hearts would own,
The mystic grace of God.
O'erlooked, because so near, dim eyes we strain,
And Heaven seems far and cold.
Do mysteries, or raptures blent with pain,
The long-sought gift enfold ?
Softer than raindrop on the yearning flowers,
Or dream to restless pain —
Deeper than life in most bewild'ring hours,
Cometh the priceless gain !
Oh ! blinded vision, on the silent air
God's ceaseless myst'ries fall,
And Nature gives her beautiful and rare,
Responsive to His call.
l68 "THE GRACE OF GOD."
The prisoned Soul, through walls of clay and sense,
Hath messages divine,
To thrill its darkness with a light intense
Beyond illumined shrine !
They come through tender deeds, rough, toiling hands
Unconsciously have done —
Through the deep pathos, that unheeded stands,
Where reckless wealth is won ;
Thro' the unfathomed depths of love and life,
The poet-heart may know,
While the rude clangor of a worldly strife
Jars strangely to and fro ;
Thro' thoughts so simple, that a smile may come
Where grateful prayer should be —
Incredulous — let not thy voice be dumb,
God's gift hath come to thee !
Thro' the deep scorning of all base and mean,
Whose fetters some may wear ;
Through the keen sense of glories never seen,
Beyond these realms of air ;
Thro' a true spirit, o'er the shining ways
By holy feet once trod ;
Thro' buried gifts evoked to living praise,
Thus comes "the Grace of God!"
The Invisibles Render us Happier.
IF, as a voice once prophesied, this glory
Touching all life must fade,
Or as a dim and scarce remembered story
Flit mocking through the shade ;
If, ere the brown above my forehead whitens,
Dim hoar shall change the hue,
In which the tangled path of life now brightens,
Heaven's radiance stealing through ;
If, from the spirit-heights, my soul in gaining
Through lonely pain hath striven,
Back to the vale of care and weak complaining
With folded wings be driven ;
While to this heart the beautiful, the tender,
Steal soft as summer days,
Luring my nature to a free surrender,
Poured forth in loving praise —
I70 THE INVISIBLES
While on the simple words of daily hearing
Float angels unaware,
And hints of beauty in the grass appearing,
Enrich tlie common air;
While still I feel a kindred nature, burning,
At deeds beyond my own,
And still the rounded years, in their returning,
Speak with a richer tone.
Before the iron creed of worldly schemer
Hath shed its bitter rust,
Burying the treasure of a happy dreamer
Beneath its shrouding dust —
While still this waking soul, from peaceful sleeping,
Yearns towards the rising day,
Come, radiant Death ! ere shadows subtly creeping,
Sweep my soul's life away !
Earth were indeed the spot of dull, blank sorrow,
Sepulchral voices claim,
If this creative life, that gilds to-morrow,
Died with the dying frame.
Before the bright ideals I have cherished,
Seem idler than the dirge
By servile mourners chanted round the perished,
Wrapt in their mocking serge ;
RENDER US HAPPIER. I7I
Ere lips may learn, in pride or idle scorning,
To sneer at human needs,
Thrilling the heart as God's refreshing morning
Thrill life through barren creeds —
Before I know that stranger eyes, dilating
With purest thought, shall close,
When weary, sandalled Truth, in patient waiting,
Thrills with her deathless woes;
Ere from the realm of nobler thought and feeling,
In narrower range my mind
Shall darken to a glimm'ring ray, revealing
The freedom cast behind,
I would go hence — the silent graves are greener
Than human souls may be,
And o'er them bends yon glorious arch, serener
Than blinded glance may see !
Oh, mystic Temple ! where, in thrilling vision,
I claim all grand and free,
In thought or outer life — the gifts elysian
Your portals hold for me.
H, spite the lovely dreams so strangely waiting
Upon my human need,
In future years a dreary prison grating
Shall hide what now I read ;
\J2 "R/NG IN THE CHRIST
Ere from this inner-life, in sceptic blindness
I rend the glowing veil
God's grace hath lent, with more than human kindness,
To be my spirit's mail,
Let me depart ! lest as a soul despairing
Of loveliness and truth,
I walk celestial fields, forever wearing
The garb of loss and ruth !
"RlNG IN THE CHRIST THAT IS TO BE"
THAT is to be," to eyes and hearts of men,
Made clear and large, to take His glory in ;
Whose soul in Sonship grew and blossomed, when
The world was rocking, hoar with craft and sin.
"That is to be," when Prayer, made Life, shall run
Between glad fruitage, from the east to west,
And work of Heaven in work of Earth begun,
Shall each in all and all in each be blest.
THA T IS TO BE."
Creedless, His human spirit turned to God,
And found, breathed, lived Him, grandly girt about;
The holy Power enfolding as he trod,
The evil spirits stood afar, without.
Who spoke, in deadened ears, divine decree,
That he who serves is Heaven's anointed priest,
Bearing the holy wine of sympathy,
Breaking the bread enriching more than feast?
Whose very shadow healed the sick that came,
Who blessed the children of God's kingdom sweet,
Who "Abba" taught, who, in wise, tender blame,
Bent low, to wash blinded disciples' feet ?
Who caught the beauty hid in meadows fair,
Whose heart went out to give grim sinners grace,
Who lived a mighty, heaven-touched prophet there,
Whose death set seal on Truth for all the race ?
The Christ that shall be, when, erect and free,
We stand, as once our Elder Brother stood,
And say: "Father, what word or work for me!
I fear not, show Thyself my Perfect Good ! "
EACH wears a mask ; so, side by side,
We dimly walk; our paths are wide
And yet our thoughts we cannot hide.
A sceptic from the world's broad field,
His words were kind, the tone revealed
A wondering scorn, but half-concealed.
" The Poet lives a life apart,
And his alone the subtile art
To turn to Heaven the world's loud mart.
"The guilt that unabashed stalks out,
The specious lie, this meanness, doubt,
Who, who can trace life's riddle out?
" Vain toys of Chance or slaves to Fate,
Straws on the deep men float or wait,
The buoy of safety always* late.
//UMAX TRUST. I 75
" With powers so cramped, with hands close-tied,
What marvel, grappling side by side,
Each makes himself his God, his guide !
" I judge alone by what I see;
Self-interest rules, and Truth would be
Stern umpire betwixt you and me ! "
" I said: "I too Life's burden share,
Its secret stings, its daily snare —
My heart is human, all are there.
" I dare not call the bitter sweet ;
All sight of Pain arrests my feet ;
Crime flaunts along the crowded street.
" And yet, God made this Earth I hold ;
Beyond its silver, all its gold,
Despite the shames your tongue has told,
Lives something which the heart may keep,
Like blessed calm to fevered sleep,
Pure lives have sowed ; we needs must reap
" They sweeten all ; I dare not throw
The stone of scorn, its reflex blow
Brings deadlier injury than we know.
I76 HUMAN TRUST.
" Strong links of trust that will not break,
Am I less true that, for their sake,
A kindlier thought of all I take ?
" Though clouds are black, beyond is blue,
The changeless light of God shines through ;
Let Truth be judge between us two ! "
We give of our best, and the soul's deep cup,
With new life o'erflowing, still bubbles up.
CHANGELESS, forever the Great Law shall run
Not God Himself can bid the mystery cease ;
Giving, we have ; beneath the Heavenly Sun
So, and so only, will our life increase.
The good, in selfish store, we fain would keep
In our embrace shall turn to mould'ring dust,
Our souls be wrapt in a deep, numbing sleep,
Our treasure, bright to view, be lost in rust.
Ever the emptied spirit shall return,
By law we rise, the Fount of Life awaits;
Joyous and free, the miracle we learn,
Close 'neath the shadow of His shining gates !
God is Love:'
N solemn voice, with steadfast face,
I hear the childish fable told
That shuts the door to love and grace,
And chills the light that streamed of old.
The story of a wrathful King,
Meek ransom at His own high throne,
Round which enraptured seraphs sing
The praises due to Him alone.
The fiction, blasphemous and cold,
In tender Youth is fused and lost ;
That glory shed on mounts of old
Steals clown thro' mists and blighting frost.
His chosen teachers are not dead —
On tablets of the soul they trace
The living law the nations read,
Ilium' ning every truth-touched face.
Still on the countless tribes of men
God's tender gifts and mercies fall j
To each awakened ear again
Rings clearer His inspiring call.
By the Hudson.
'T^HE things whereby true strength is born
*- We do not choose ;
Bearing within our life the bitter thorn
Our heart would fain refuse.
But after — even on this Earth,
His working will —
Evolving, through our tears, a deeper worth,
Dawns on us clear and still.
Oh, Life Divine, that sends the cheer
Of this flecked sky,
And soft bird-song, these mountains rising clear,
Rapture to ear and eye !
Fold me in the Eternal ways,
In Nature's prayer !
Through trusting gladness will I send true praise.
God ruling everywhere !
Cornwall on the Hudson, June 17, 1876.
Passed in Beauty:'
Y r OUXG, with eves so calm and tender,
In new dreams you felt their grace,
Golden gleams of woman's splendor
Touching hair, and changing face !
Loving eyes, that swept as sunshine
Through the misty, troubled air,
Still closed, and shutting light from mine,
Still is she sleeping there?
But a week ago her footfall
Dropp'd light music on the stair —
But a week ago the death-call
Had not hushed our grateful prayer.
Round her window climb the roses
She hath looked on every morn,
Where the fairest bunch reposes,
Be her maiden-chaplet torn.
She is dead that loved these flowers,
Still the face that should have smiled —
ISO ''PASSED in beauty:'
They are fragrant, wet with showers,
For the forehead of the child !
Sunshine lifteth up the shadow
Creeping round the curtain's fold,
With a smile of morn and meadow,
Where she lieth still and cold.
Dead, with name cut truer, deeper
Than cold marble ever bore,
On warm hearts, oh, peaceful sleeper,
Living letters evermore !
Let no sound of passionate crying
Break the stillness of the room,
Heaven hath consecrate to dying,
Loving thoughts, and early bloom.
Bitter thoughts, that hide the gladness
Of the solemn smile she wears,
Melt in tears of holy sadness,
Pass away in silent prayers.
At the doorway Life will greet us,
Shrinking — we shall bear its touch —
Learn to smile with friends who greet us,
Taste of pleasure, suffer much ;
But where lost and rare are treasured,
Veiled from stranger's eye and ear,
Solemn, hung with thoughts that perished,
Lit with tapers bright and clear.
STRANGE weavers all ! No looms of Persia, flinging
Their richest textures to the light of Day,
May match the glorious things, in daily bringing,
Souls fashion out, by work more rare than they !
In human hands and hearts are noiseless plying
The unseen threads of Life, or blackest Death;
The garment of rejoicing or of sighing
Shaped now, for Heaven or Hell, with daily breath !
We choose, and so are chosen. All our praying,
But ends in this : To clasp the good we know,
As Jacob turestled. So our angel, staying,
Shall mark with light a visible heaven below !
DEEP thoughts from God ! abide to light my way
Brighter than moon or sun,
Ye rise o'er Life's horizon as we pray,
O'er landscape else so dun.
Gleams from the Infinite, to our clearer will,
Piercing our sordid rest
With a new peace, that holds us brave and still,
To gaze into the Best.
Ye are so real, amid phantasmal things,
Vampires that drain our life;
Ye are so grand, your very shadow flings
A rainbow through all strife !
No church of man's device may hem ye in ;
Above all churchly sign
Ye blaze, and shrivelled lies the secret sin,
Burnt in that fire divine.
UNA NS WE RED. 1 8 3
Ye perfect things, that live, that cannot die,
Most glad, most strong, most free,
In everlasting presence make reply;
So teach me how to be /
THE word of one I gladly hail a friend,
Came questioning. Shall I say
What scarce is answer, only deepest end,
Where instinct points the way?
I know not ; subtile mystery past our clasp,
Or, yielding, true and strong,
Just so much substance, when I curious ask,
As makes me ponder long.
Why some, by very presence, bar my speech,
Drop lead on heart and hand ;
How others lift to things beyond my reach,
Quick flashing where they stand ;
I 84 UNA NS WE RED.
Why strange distrust, before a word is said,
Will bid me turn away;
How instant Faith will strike slow Prudence dead,
Or boldly bid it stay.
These thrill, or, sphinx-like, set me curious, dumb,
Between the Day and Night ;
From neither does the freighted answer come,
I wait to hear aright.
Yet links in strange, vibrating chain we move,
Beneath the Father's will ;
Discords that jar, all sweeter touch to soothe,
His warning blessings still.
I boldly trust ; He sets no blunderers blind,
Our hints, our guide to be ;
God fashions best to live among our kind,
In giving Liberty !
'All ls Vanity:
I LISTENED while he spoke, as, one by one,
The things most holy, God-appointed, claimed his
My heart rose up in earnest protest — none
Of all he pictured might his dull heart reach.
For through the human rise we to divine, —
By Love to Love, that set the myriad stars aflame ;
Through daily life and thought His light must shine,
And common deeds most glorify His name !
OH, eyes, so restful, that the devils fled
In that old time, search, let all evil flee
Out of my soul ; above all quick and dead,
I hear a voice immortal calling me.
Oh, hand, so quick to bless, so strong to aid,
Clasp mine therein, and Love shall work the rest;
1 86 SLOWLY.
The Father sent, I cannot be afraid ;
Life of the world, who stood its crucial test !
Oh, soul, divinely human, bravely sweet,
Whose deep reality transcends all sign,
Breathe through my life, so wavering, incomplete,
Constraining all my thoughts to blend with thine !
WE marvel dimly that the tide of Life
Should still so slowly climb
O'er bare and jagged rocks, worn deep with strife,
Impatient of God's time.
Yet, waiting, all along gray centuries past,
The coming morning breaks;
Under His brooding Spirit, true and vast,
The sleeping Life awakes.
Slow comes the faith that things of God must grow,
From unseen, gradual roots ;
Leaf, bud, and blossom into fulness blow,
And last His glorious fruits !
By the grace of God comes power of choice,
That shall make the Earth in our lives rejoice.
OUR souls are not our own ; whether 'mid baleful
Standing heart-high, we miss the wholesome day —
Whether, herein, are sown the wafted seeds
Of Truth divine, to fructify our clay !
Forever, mystic forces that we cannot see
Are pulsing strong across, within, without ;
Forever what we are, and what shall be,
In links most wondrous, compass us about.
O'er all is traced one clear, bright, Changeless Law ;
We give of Life or Death to whom we meet !
Out of each spirit will the day's work draw
The hidden devil or the angel sweet.
Give, give we must ; with joy, out of our garnered best,
For help and healing, or, with stunted will,
Giving our darkness, where were light and rest,
Under the swerveless Law that binds us still !
1 88 IMMORTALITY.
Each soul must share the Law ; alike from quick and
We catch a glowing strength or blighting taint ;
Alike we hunger and alike are fed;
God's world the same for sinner and for saint.
NOT gathered out of books, in sudden rushes,
This thought of light ;
Transmitted clearly, like the sunset flushes,
It fills my sight.
How, when, or why it came? Go ask the flowers
Whence comes the dew
'Neath which they thrive unconscious, all their powers
Touched through and through.
It came, it lingers, a rich wordless story
To heart and brain,
And all within me claims an added glory
In glad refrain !
'Lamp of the Sanctuary:'
FLAME all unguessed, and by good angels tended,
Whereby I see what God would have me do,
Whose love hath lit, whose daily care befriended —
Shine in me, clear and true !
Just of His lending; so I need no treasure,
Golden and gemmed, swung o'er an outward shrine :
The Father, of His own unfailing measure,
Will give me light divine !
His fiat comes, and all the Stars obey ;
Unveil thy light, and be as fair as they !
AS true stars shine out in God's firmament,
So, fraught with His life, are our spirits meant
To illumine the darkness, whereto He sent.
Sad, waiting eyes from the valley turn,
Lone hearts on the icy mountain burn ;
At these midnight lamps of Heaven they learn
I9O LIGHT A II HAD.
Over Earth's shadows must clearly shine,
Golden and silver, the rays divine,
From the heart of the Father, to yours and mine.
From the heart of the Infinite — more than sun
Into ours ! The life of The Spirit begun,
So reaches His creatures, one by one.
ON the borders of Dreamland, I knew not whence,
A Thought stood luminous, lovely, true;
Like a sudden gift, not departing thence,
Till my soul dropped into its sleep anew.
With the morning sunlight I waked, and tried
To recall the glory that touched my sight,
And that sense of power, dilating, wide;
In vain, for the glory had passed with Night !
I marvel if who-so or what-so lent
That thrilling thought, a brief* space to me,
Will shed it once more, past the strange veil rent,
From time to time through our sympathy.
I'VE wondered sometimes, if, behind our best
Of outward work and underneath its crust,
Unguessed, unknown, in God's alembic, Rest,
Stirs not the finer life to thrill our dust !
So wondering, with the River coursing fair,
With sun-flecked mountains bound, on grassy seat
Fresh from God's hand, this draught of beauty rare
I quaff with joy, unreasoning, most complete !
And, drinking so, my wonder lies deep-drowned
Under a flood of certainty, that still,
Deep in our souls, in space, in under-ground,
In unguessed place, the Infinite works His will.
And, working, sheds a tender pity down
On all our noisy ways and busy care,
Keeping His silent work — our unguessed crown —
A sweet surprise, to meet and claim us there !
Cornwall on the Hudson, August, 1877.
God the Uncreated.
IN thy crude dream, immortal, dost thou look to see
A visible, luminous form, in human mould,
Who from a judgment-throne will stretch His hand to
In welcome sweet, or with an accent cold,
Perchance speak words of doom, to blight thee as they
A heaven or hell within His cadence deep?
So, halting, runs thy vision of the God of all,
So do we picture, babbling in our sleep.
Not distant planets, nor the widest range of space,
To mortal or angelic eyes reveal
The Uncreated, whose great, silent, true embrace
Enwraps all change, enfolds each power we feel
On Earth, in future realms, our hearts send earnest call ;
Straightway the Infinite enters, lo ! we find
Through the soul's vision only Truth, Love, Beauty, all
That centre in, that are, the Infinite Mind.
LOVE EVERMORE. I93
No judgment day for saint or sinner, then, you cry?
When every sunrise makes fresh judgment day !
Wherein through all new-growing life, we make reply
To the Great Nearness, circling 'round our way.
Or, weakly grovelling, turn, with fleshly eyes bent down,
To learn black judgment in most bitter loss ;
As here, so there, to win or lose our waiting crown,
To know the Highest, or to choose the dross J
I hear the sweet, new song
That cheers the Weak, that makes the Brave more strong.
FOREVERMORE God's Best will live,
In Sacred Book, through centuries gray,
In Living Thought. He still must give,
Past timorous hearts, that murmur "Nay!"
Oh, superstitious Night of dread,
That veiled the healthful light of stars,
Our world that, dungeoned, watched its dead,
Sees the new morning through its bars !
94 THE GRAND, ETERNAL NOW.
Glad souls rise up to meet His Law ;
"Love" sounds across the slumbering sea,
As from God's mountains, and shall draw
All earnest men with vision free !
The Grand, Eternal Now.
HOW shall the Day of Faith flood all the world,
Cold ears be reached, blind eyes be led to see.
And deep-set evils from their place be hurled?
God's way — through you and me!
Not so ? Then, Coward-Hearts, your day is done,
And braver come to fill the waiting breach ;
In morning's blaze to cower and feel no sun,
Sure doom your life must reach.
Only who wakes to claim the mystic Now,
First step in the New Kingdom, knows the best;
Only a more than crown upon his brow,
Who trusts to God the rest.
The Real Presence!'
NOT to the costly closet of cathedral nave,
With curtain veiling from God's common air,
I go to meet the Christ, my soul to save, —
I do not find Him there.
Not when the throng bows down before the Uplifted
Jesus of Nazareth comes near to me,
With passing shadow of the Holy Ghost, —
My soul stands clear and free.
Where, suddenly, unsought, upon glad vision gleams
His freighted life, outweighing word He spake,
And on the dusty highway radiance streams.
I stand, with Him, awake.
Where, silently, go heavenward, souls intoning sweet,
Or, in green field, fresh as His feet once pressed,
In deed of good, upon the crowded street,
I feel His presence best.
OT only on the mouldering page
Of a long silent, distant age,
The Great Invisible hath writ His story ;
Deeper and richer, clearer far
Than all the radiant saintships are,
Shines out his present glory !
No more alone to seer and priest
The Mount of Vision, God's own feast ;
On whom so wills, Heaven's grace divine, descending
In silent ways, in unguessed haunts,
Shall nerve true hearts to reach wo rid- wants,
Fine thought and action blending.
Fades slowly out the flaming hell
Disease and sin were wont to tell !
On the world's life, through its perversions dropping,
The richer tone, the fairer day,
Are gently given — as God alway
Gives — without break or stopping.
1X1- L UX. I97
Oh present, glowing, better page
Of this live, surging, blessed age,
Deep gift of God, to all who use it duly ; - —
With vision simple, wisely clear,
I would approach your mysteries near,
God helping to read truly !
JUST this silent thought of grace :
"Earth I hold a sacred place,
Linked to heaven by glimmering ways,
Lower hall to seraph's praise ;
Arched by good I may not see,
Dropping gifts of Truth to me."
Just this thought ! Behind it press
Boundless forces, — Tenderness,
Growth, Speech, Guidance, Power of Wi'
Fervid Action, Silence still ;
Hand and Heart in live accord
With the message of the Lord.
THROUGH sorrow past I see a guiding ran ;
In present rest I know
A gladness wrought through th' Eternal plan,
Away from long ago.
The bells of change forever ring and ring,
Grim idols drop to dust ;
A finer worship to the front we bring,
Because our spirits must.
Only an open heart, to know the Christ,
And breathe celestial air;
Not all the weary centuries have sufficed
To hide His life most rare !
The decades slowly bear us nearer Heaven ;
Would we had eyes to see
How life, and growth, and all good things are given,
From Unseen Hands, most free !
OUR SOULS. I99
Oh, Soul of mine, thy gateway open stands,
Straight to the Father's door ;
Why travel o'er the wrecks of olden lands,
To find His Face once more?
No fretted walls, nor book, nor laden shrine,
Between thy God and thee ;
Here, here, alone, I meet the light divine,
Or nowhere else, for me !
" Oh, God ! I can trust for the human soul ! "
G. G. A.
YES, the Human Soul ! He is not afar
Who whirls the grand stars in their ceaseless way ;
Love alone He sends, past all stain or scar,
That hides His last marvel, in house of clay.
Cant phrase, narrow groove, like the baby's game,
Dropp'd out of its life, for the higher things
That noiselessly, with a new fulness, came
Once to Jordan's Christ, as on dove-like wings.
2CO THE HIDDEN TRUTH.
For the soul, that is germ of the best we know,
Shedding subtler life than the scent of flowers ;
For the soul that glimmers, is pinched and low,
He silently reaches, in ways not ours.
For each was meant to a height divine,
Through sorrows that deepen, through sunshine sweet,
Still to mount the Ladder of Being — line
There is none — till it rests at the Father's feet.
The Hidden Truth.
The soul's deep proofs exceed our spoken sense,
For logic giving Life, for reasonings, recompense.
THE sweetest, deepest, best,
Are still the things we cannot prove ;
Though Logic wait our need for all the rest,
Yet these within their higher orbit move,
Beyond our speech confessed !
The beauty of the Rose
Love, and Love only, apprehends ;
Dull eyes may stare, while petals fine unclose,
Or watch yon Cloud-land, whence the glory sends
No vision, as it flows.
AT SUNSE T. 201
The hidden truth must stir,
From inner deeps no plummets sound, *
Before the Life Beyond, past this life's whirr,
Floods all the Border-land with joy profound.
The wings within must stir,
In silent token clear,
That, strangely girt about we stand,
From outer sense remote, while Heaven gro\tfs near;
As noiseless drops our anchor on new strand,
New songs of Life we hear !
MID Sunset glories, when you gaze,
Think that you stand with me,
That I, too, breathe in clearer ways,
From "bricks and mortar" free.
So will your rich-piled clouds inspire
Of Beauty double sense,
This earth glow in celestial fire,
Your life grow more intense.
202 TO LIT A.
United, sympathy flows wide,
To reach from earth to sky;
And back from Heaven's all radiant tide
Earth's glory you descry.
Four eyes and vision one, make one;
A truth past numbers clear.
Friend, think of me at set of sun,
In spirit know me near !
WITH Baby-feet, that fail in rash endeavor,
God guide your after way !
With Baby-hands, that clasp at trifles ever,
Through all your later day
Be His the touch to send all life-thoughts flowing,
From soul to finger-tips;
His presence felt, to keep heart-music going,
Still from your merry lips.
Oh, Baby-eyes, that gleam with saucy laughter,
Grow strong and bright to see
All purity within the near Hereafter,
All things that make most free !
The Unseen World.
NO world apart, in which we may not walk,
Till the Great Mystery sets the spirit free ;
A shining bridge brings ''angels down our talk;"
The soul looks forth, Heaven answers to its plea.
Strong, strong the links, beyond all sceptics' touch,
From heart to heart, of those who went before ;
Weak, weak the barriers, parted, loving much,
Who wait to greet, on that invisible shore !
Across our day that fairer daylight shines ;
Into ourselves that have no part with clay
Come intuitions, whence the soul divines
A restful splendor, past all twilight gray.
The halo falls upon the lowliest spot,
Ever the Unseen makes this Earth more sweet ;
The garden only fades where God is not ;
His paths to finer life lie broad, complete !
WE serve deep use of His, in blessed choosing,
Or, blindly answering No, are made of use;
Chasms of darkness which, the world refusing,
Turns from, unheeding all our faint excuse.
We serve, to reign as kings, on heights eternal,
Where trees rise grand, and all the air is sweet ;
We serve ; lo, our own hearts grow bowers most vernal,
And God's own light will make our joy complete.
THE shorn, crisp grass is fragrant 'neath my feet,
With crystals hung, the air atune
With tender song, as 'neath His presence sweet,
I stand with this bright hour, in perfect June !
Slow waver mists above the outlined hills,
Like mute, white blessings on the air;
A rainbow-light its hint of God fulfils,
In slanting grace, athwart yon River rare.
Finer than forms, beyond the stifling creeds,
This beauty man can never make ;
Deep the Communion-cup to inmost needs,
With reverent joy, my reaching soul would take.
His radiance, His, who, starring Infinite Space,
Comes, Love and Light and Peace to me ;
Just this thin veil of Nature 'twixt God's face,
And my near gaze towards Him I cannot see!
Cornwall on the Hudson, Sunday, June 17, 1877.
PAST the legends strange and dim,
Past all mists that vaguely swim,
I would wander back to Him.
Bridging o'er the chasm wrought
By distorted, childish thought —
Nearer unto Nature brought,
I would read each wondrous sign,
Feel such human love, divine —
Make God's choicest treasure mine.
Past the centuries cold and gray,
Groping towards the clearer day,
I would follow while I may ;
Stand beside that ancient shore,
Whence the peace His spirit wore,
Blest the world forevermore ;
Lingering where, in desert gray,
Pausing on His upward way,
Wrestling 'neath the tempter's sway:
Life and power were born anew,
And with wrapt, diviner view,
Angels' messages He knew.
I would read the Father's will,
Sounding to the nations still —
Feel the Son that law fulfil ;
And with reverence, free from fear,
Gazing with a vision clear,
Know Christ's spirit, now and here !
True Thought and Deed.
POOR waverer ! whom some jarring creed
Has driven to doubt or silence cold,
Turn thy heart's deepest page, and read
The truth that shines and ne'er grows old.
In the Soul's silent temple, meet
For harmonies of peace divine,
Th' invisible and safe retreat —
Claim Heaven's Best Gift, and prove it thine.
Oh, yield unto the God of All
The homage of true thought and deed,
Nor desecrate the living call
Christ uttered thro' His power and need.
Oh, deep, impassioned, yearning heart,
Whose echoes answered Nature free,
You listen, and the mists depart,
Your eyes are touched — thank God you see.
TO know this wond'rous world, despite its pain,
With every glowing landscape, still is ours;
To feel existence grow a deep'ning gain,
To every sense, to all unfolding powers.
To trust all Life rounds slowly to its best,
E'en while we dimly grope for means and ends,
To have inspiring vision, gladness, rest,
In the soul's aisles, where the Great Life descends;
To know the mystic key, for ages sought,
By teachers hid, a sacred, daily sign,
But opens inward to the Holy Court,
This human, beating heart of yours and mine.
This is to claim lost birthright, large and free,
Turning cathedral windows to the sun,
To let the gleam of Immortality
Illume for presence of th' Invisible one !
Be Strong, O Soul
TURN back, O Soul, and in some fond Ideal,
That shimmers to and fro,
Find joy, or wrestling with the grander Real,
This strange unrest forego.
It bideth not, the guest so strange and lonely,
Apart from board or speech ;
Tempted it turns in wond'ring sorrow only,
God's presence within reach.
From the deep palace, where, in storied splendor,
Bright shadows seem to fall,
From warmer light around the household tender,
One spirit binding all —
Why soar when the warm tide of life flows deepest ?
Thy pris'ning walls are fair —
Why seek those misty heights that rise the steepest,
Lost in the upper air?
18 * O 209
2IO BE STRONG, O SOUL!
Content thee with all beautiful and tender,
The shore, the changing sea —
This baffled search of unseen good surrender,
And Earth shall answer thee !
It may not be ! in many a strange reminder
This truth is inward born,
The spirit seeks a living home, and kinder,
Beyond the gates of Morn.
Beyond this Earth, inlaid with warm affection
And joy that beggars speech,
Enriched with deep'ning thoughts of His election,
Prophets divine to each ;
Dimly prefigured in the sudden glory,
Some sacred moment knows —
Uprising from the depths of thrilling story,
The immortal secret flows.
Be strong, O Soul ! in hope and nobler dreaming
These earthly toys must fall,
The truer light of God forever streaming,
Renewing life for all !
F?OR faith I ask in latent good,
A Slow-working through these centuries dim,
For light on all misunderstood,
For Hope to join th' immortals' hymn ;
Faith in this deep, mysterious life,
Through which the wise and saintly wrought -
Faith in that peace, subduing strife,
Some earnest souls from Heaven have caught.
Such faith — no other would I claim,
Though hundreds pressed a lauded creed —
Across my brow no flush of shame
Should ever rise to veil the deed !
The Present's surging tide is strong —
Why from the Future, sounding near,
Turn to dead branches swept along,
And lost beneath the waters clear?
212 MY FAITH.
Why linger o'er the sleeping dust
Of burning deeds in days of old,
When tender shoots of living trust
Now strive to pierce the darkening mould?
Why close the living page illumed
By God and Nature — writ with prayer
Unceasing — for the books entombed
With hermit bones in sunless air?
Why bind the soaring spirit fast
With relics of a gloomy code,
While flowers, in Heaven's profusion cast,
Neglected, fade upon the road?
Dim idols, whence revealing Time
Hath rent the shreds ye vainly hold,
Fall at the slowly-rising chime,
Unwaked through shrouded vales of old !
If, o'er an unknown, marvellous shore,
From radiant heights deep sunrise broke,
Wouldst mourn the light which paled before
This radiance, free from Night's gray smoke?
MY FAITH. 213
Why from this pulsing life turn back
To wonders of the buried Past,
When overhead the same deep track
Of Heaven is flaming, high and vast?
What deeper miracles to thrill
Than those a single life unfolds,
When some grand soul, aspiring still,
Looks down upon the form it moulds !
O'er treasures in the cave unsought,
Why heap the mould of other years,
While solid pillars, deep enwrought,
Wait till the master-hand appears?
The formal grasp of Custom thrills
No inspiration through the soul ;
This silent temple never fills
With music from a viewless goal.
Still in a circle's wearying round,
Of ancient forms whose warmth is fled.
Why chant with living lips this sound —
A ceaseless ritual of the dead !
214 MY 1'AITH.
While Youth and Joy, with glowing thought,
Flit through the Present's sunlit trees —
Why turn from all in beauty wrought,
Ignoring flower, and rock, and breeze?
Still guarding with such painful care,
The story traced by patient hands —
If one true life is written there,
Immutable, God-writ, it stands.
Through strange discordancies, that ring
To drown th' Evangel of the Past,
The Truth which prescient spirits sing
Shall claim this wand'ring world at last !
Still all unseen the Spirit writes,
For fusing ages yet unborn,
And o'er the distant, waiting heights,
Steals the first flush of rising Morn !
To God the Father.
WEAK children, blest beneath the touch
That thrilled in centuries past,
And yearning to resemble such,
Father ! we come at last.
Casting away as tangled weeds
The vanities of sense,
We fain would rise to higher needs,
A purer recompense.
Thou knowest all — lips dare not say
The truth hath made us free,
With clearer thoughts we only pray
In deep'ning trust to Thee.
The crumbling temple made with hands
To loving eyes is dear —
Within these walls the soul expands
And casteth out all fear.
2l6 TO GOD THE FATHER.
But, grant us in the noisy mart
To breathe a voiceless prayer —
In daily tasks, in thought apart,
To know Thou, God, art there !
These wondrous powers for endless good.
To us unworthy given,
No longer Thy dear grace withstood,
We consecrate to Heaven !
That quenchless light, a Human Heart
Transfigured to divine,
This one most precious gift apart,
Hath made us wholly Thine.
Immortals, called, thro' joy and pain,
To follow where He trod —
Rewarded in the spirit's gain,
We would pass on, O God !
We ask Thy peace may rest on all
Beneath our common sun,
And if strange shadows darkly fall,
Still pray — " Thy will be done ! "
Hymn of the Children.
LOVINGLY, lovingly, unto Thy praise,
We in our childhood glad voices would raise;
Now, while our hearts are unfettered and free,
Give them the light ever shining from Thee ;
Then evil no longer will shadow the sky;
Shine through our darkness, O Father, on high.
Children, Thy children, we never can fear,
Wherever we wander Thy presence is near.
Lovingly, lovingly, turn we to Thee,
Giver of all the rich beauty we see ;
Never may thoughts of Thy bounty grow cold —
Make us all one in Thy heavenly fold ;
Guard us by day, and at night, when we rest,
Send us bright dreams of the true and the best.
Children, Thy children, we never can fear,
Wherever we wander Thy presence is near.
19 2I 7
WHAT can we give, O God ! — our way-
Made beautiful with gifts of Thine —
What shall we bring, for every day
Thy love pours out its gifts divine !
Thou givest all — our life, our friends,
These days of joy, our nights of rest —
And wide that tender love extends,
To draw us towards the true and best.
We look into the deep blue sky —
We see the stars, we see not Thee —
But in our souls we feel Thee nigh,
And grateful children we would be.
Ourselves we give, our early youth,
Our hopes, our joys, our every thought,
Help us, O God ! in deed and truth
To live the life that Jesus taught.
Make us, indeed, Thy children dear,
Then every daily path will shine —
Our hearts are weak, but draw Thou near
And fill us with a strength divine.
Friends Left Behind.
NOT they who stand on the receding shore,
With tender eyes, that hold us 'mid the throng,
And stirring lips; our voyage evermore
Is blest in thought of such — for Love makes strong.
But, in my thoughts are, whom in daily place
We gently meet, with whom we talk and smile,
Claiming an answering look upon our face,
And distance holds apart the live-long while.
Giving warm words to whom, in deadly strait,
Our soul would never turn for answering care ;
Reaching above, beyond their hearts, that late
Beat the same measure on th' encircling air.
From whose dim eyes we veil our deepest, best,
A thought God-given, some vision new and free,
Reading their troubled glance, startled unrest,
Brought face to face, with some great verity.
220 LIFE INVISIBLE.
Away, though side by side, the spirit turns,
To climb in faith a sudden mountain height,
Gleaming beyond this plain the eye discerns,
In glory deeper than the noon or night.
Spirits above us greet us, from their day,
With thought inspiring, deeds of Hope and cheer ;
We bend towards those below — so far away —
Whose feet stand fast, whose spirit cannot hear !
BY forces noiseless, in God's silence clear,
Our souls are strangely moved to grow;
The things we see, the jangled tones we hear,
But broken lights, that seem of long-ago.
Dropp'd in our souls, the deepest still lies hid,
Or comes, with faltering speech, to open day ;
His leaven ceaseless works, whereto 'tis bid;
He sends diviner flame to kindle clay.
On, on, best thought of mine, with healthful beat,
Still on, all living hearts, that dare not rust ;
On, thou dear God, who makes our work complete,
On in thy life, its larger growth and trust !
To a Spirit.
'T^HOU whom my lips have kissed in quiet dreaming.
■*■ So far, yet ever near,
With Morning's flush, and thro' the Starlight gleaming,
Thy music-voice I hear !
No troubled look of earthly mother's wearing,
Flits o'er thy angel face,
No lines, deep marked in passionate despairing,
Impair its changeless grace.
Evil shrinks back whene'er thy radiant shadow
Falls strange and silently,
As sun-touched mountain lights the dusky meadow,
Thy presence bends o'er me !
Ah, simple faith, in saddened glance beholden,
Where passion blinded will,
Ah, tender eyes calm, clear as sunlight golden,
Ye shine upon me still.
222 TO A SPIRIT.
And music, never waked on earth, is sighing
Thro' mystic aisles of thought,
A music floating from the realms undying,
By angel-voices wrought.
Oh ! wondrous spell, that, in a kindred feeling,
Raised my weak soul afar,
Touching my darkness with a light, revealing
What heaven-claimed spirits are ;
An unseen hand upon my forehead pressing,
Once nerved to childhood's pain,
And 'neath the shadowy touch of that caressing
My eyes have smiled again.
For human love, in ceaseless, deep outpouring,
I would have given,
Take all of pure for which in lonely soaring
My soul hath striven.
• All tones of pity, from the chord vibrating
To sorrowful of earth,
All visionings of good, whose shadowy waiting,
Attests the soul's high birth.
Lost Mother, when, this earthly shore receding,
I view the mystic sea,
Come, as in early dreams of passionate needing,
To clasp and welcome me.
The Wishing Gate.
I READ, with a half smile, that Eastern story
Of wistful seekers, gathered at the Gate,
Ere yet the sun shed his last parting glory,
Waiting to wrest a cherished boon from Fate.
I saw the gay array, strange, dusky faces,
The patient camels in that shimmering glow;
Through that old archway, traced with rich devices,
The faint, dry breeze goes softly to and fro.
The legendary gate grows closer, nearer —
My smile is gone; linked with that distant race
By subtile feeling, inner vision clearer,
Holds fast the outline of that sunlit place.
For still our souls stand daily, lingering, needing,
Unguessable, unconscious, each to each,
While still our heavenly gate, so near, unheeding,
We miss the gift these years were lent to reach !
WHATEVER frailties bar me from full sight,
Father above, of Thee,
Pour down a flood of Thy diviner light,
That I, Thy child, may see.
Give me deep Faith, that neither Life nor Death
Can break. Make Thou complete
All missing links of love ; with wavering breath,
I draw me to Thy feet !
Oh, waiting Love, that yearns to give me place,
That will not be denied,
Enfold my weakness in Thy strong embrace,
Till Heaven shall open wide.
Shall open, Loved and Lost, in clearer sight
Than earthly eyes can know ;
Hold fast my hand, and make this gateway light,
As home to Thee I go !
1 1 1 'X'*iT>'i iVfiS